PE-Backed BTPN Eyes Microfinance Deals

Indonesia’s Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Negara, a mid-size lender owned by U.S. private equity firm Texas Pacific Group, is making plans to buy up micro-finance companies, Reuters reported. The acquisitions are aimed at growing a high-margin business, though no specific deals were reported.

(Reuters) – Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Negara, a mid-size Indonesian lender controlled by U.S. private equity firm Texas Pacific Group , said that it was assessing possible acquisitions of micro-finance players to grow a high-margin business.

“As long as it’s a good asset, we’re open,” CEO Jerry Ng told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. “But we will not be pushing hard for it for the sake of going big,” he said, declining to name targets or the size of its war chest.

There has been market talk that BTPN, which CLSA dubbed as Asia’s most profitable bank in 2010, is looking to acquire mid to small sized lenders, agricultural or auto financing firms in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

Ng said the bank’s loan growth was seen at over 25 percent this year, just over the industry average, but a slowdown from 48 percent growth last year as competition heats up.

(Reporting by Janeman Latul and Fathiya Dahrul; Editing by Neil Chatterjee)