Capitec, Nedbank and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) are among local contenders that may pay up to R5bn for Mercantile Bank. The Portuguese government announced on Friday that it had approved a shortlist of four potential buyers to participate in the second phase of the bank’s sale by state-owned banking group Caixa Geral de Depósitos. The sale is a condition of a European Central Bank loan that required Caixa to reduce its foreign assets. It serves more than 12,000 entrepreneurs in SA. It offers another opportunity for a new commercial bank in SA. There are two mutual banks — Bank Zero and YWBN — seeking licences. The PIC has teamed up with Bayport Financial Services, a provider of personal loans and funeral insurance, to table an offer for Mercantile. In the running Also in the running is a consortium comprising business bank Grindrod and Arise, an investment company backed by Norwegian investment fund Norfund; Dutch development bank FMO; and Rabobank, a Dutch co-operative...

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