Mizuho Said to End Talks to Buy San Miguel's Commerce Bank Stake

Mizuho Financial Group Inc. ended talks to buy San Miguel Corp.’s controlling stake in Philippine lender Bank of Commerce, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The talks broke down because of a disagreement over the price, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions were private. San Miguel President Ramon Ang confirmed in a mobile-phone text message Thursday that the negotiations with Mizuho had ended, without giving a reason. Ang has said that his company’s stake in Bank of Commerce is worth $500 million. 

Masako Shiono, a spokeswoman for Mizuho in Tokyo, declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal reported late Wednesday that the discussions had broken down.

Mizuho, Japan’s third-biggest bank by market value, had been considering a bid since at least February, people familiar with the matter said at the time. The nation’s largest banks are expanding in regions such as Southeast Asia as shrinking interest rates and a sluggish economy limit prospects at home. The Philippines last year enacted a law to allow the full entry of foreign banks into the country.

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