French asset manager Amundi and JP Morgan’s asset management unit are weighing bids for the asset management business of Thailand-based Kasikornbank (KBank), reported Bloomberg News.

Besides Amundi and JP Morgan, British asset manager Schroders showed initial interest in Kasikorn Asset Management, people privy to the development revealed to the news agency.

KBank is expected to launch an official sale process for the unit in the coming weeks. A potential deal could value Kasikorn Asset Management at around $1.5bn, according to the sources.

The Bangkok-headquartered bank is said to be considering options including a majority or a minority stake sale as it looks to expand its asset management platform and make it more competitive through a strategic partner.

According to KBank’s 2021 annual report, the asset management unit manages approximately $45bn in assets.

The sources added that the considerations are at an initial stage and the companies could decide not to pursue the deal.

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Representatives for Amundi, JP Morgan Asset Management and Schroders did not comment on the news.

A Kbank representative referred to the bank’s earlier statement to the exchange when approached for a comment on the matter.

The bank previously said in its statement that the asset management business is one of its most important undertakings, and it may have discussions with many parties that may not lead to transactions.

Thailand moves by other firms

Last year, Singapore-based digital wealth manager StashAway expanded its global footprint with the launch of its services in Thailand.

The same year, it was reported that British banking giant HSBC is planning to set up a private banking business in Thailand to boost its presence in the South-east Asian wealth management space.

In 2019, DBS Private Bank said that it would double its assets under management and the number of relationship managers it employs in Thailand by 2023.

The same year, SCB Julius Baer, a wealth management joint venture (JV) between Swiss private banking group Julius Baer and Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), secured a licence to begin operations in Thailand.