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SMBC in two-way race to buy Indonesia's Bank Permata

Regulator calls Japanese megabank a 'serious' contender as field narrows

A money changer holds cash on a street in Jakarta. Indonesia's huge under-banked population offers growth potential for Japanese megabanks.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Japanese megabank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. is one of two final contenders to acquire major Indonesian peer Bank Permata, a senior official at Indonesia's Financial Services Authority said Friday.

"Sumitomo Mitsui and a Thai investor remain in the race," the official said. "Sumitomo Mitsui is in serious consideration."

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