Societe Generale is set to battle it out with financial giants Citigroup over the acquisition of China's Guangdong Development Bank, after the French lender revised its bid.
Societe General will now bid for only 20 per cent of the Chinese bank, rather than the 24 per cent it initially asked for, with other bidders in the consortium it leads increasing their stakes to accommodate the revision.
Current Chinese regulatory rules stipulate that foreign investors must not hold more than a 20 per cent stake in any Chinese bank, amid concerns over growing foreign influence over the country's financial sector.
Earlier this month, regulators confirmed that they would not be relaxing rules in order to allow either Societe General or rival bidders Citigroup to take a larger stake in Guangdong Development Bank – one of China's largest financial institutions.
Citigroup is also expected to revise its bid, although its initial request for a 40 per cent stake may make a revision more difficult.
However, with the deadline for final bids fast approaching, time is running out for Citigroup, the world's most valuable financial organisation.