(Adds Metro, Integra LifeSciences, Ford, African Gold; updates Ford)
Sept 27 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Wednesday:
** German industrial group Siemens AG and French rival Alstom SA agreed to merge their rail operations, creating a European champion to better withstand the international advance of China’s state-owned CRRC Corp Ltd .
** French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Wednesday said he hoped Europe could create a leading naval company similar to the one formed by the railway operations tie-up between Alstom and, as he reiterated his support for the Alstom and Siemens transaction.
** Finnish power utility Fortum will launch an 8.05 billion-euro ($9.5 billion) takeover bid for Uniper , the power stations operator and energy trading business partly owned by German utility E.ON, it said on Tuesday.
** The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday filed an antitrust lawsuit challenging Parker-Hannifin Corp’s purchase of Clarcor Inc, which closed in February.
** Saudi Arabia’s Bahri, the world’s largest owner and operator of very large crude carriers, aims to start operating its joint venture with French logistics firm Bollore by the end of the year, an executive told Reuters.
** China-backed coal miner Yancoal Australia Ltd said it had exercised its option to buy a 29 percent stake in the Warkworth operation from Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp for $230 million.
** Boeing Co will invest $33 million for a majority stake in a joint venture with Commercial Aircraft Corp of China that will oversee the U.S. planemaker’s new 737 completion plant in China, the China Daily reported.
** A department of Vietnam’s finance ministry suggested transferring responsibility for the privatisation of brewers Sabeco and Habeco if the trade ministry does not publish sale prospectuses by the end of the month.
** Planemaker Bombardier Inc aims to close deals with Chinese airlines in upcoming months and is in talks with the country’s three biggest airlines, a senior Bombardier executive said on Tuesday.
** Mandarin Oriental International Ltd said it will not sell The Excelsior hotel for the time being as bids for one of Hong Kong’s most anticipated commercial real estate sales this year were too low.
** Japan’s biggest private-sector life insurer, Nippon Life Insurance Co, is in talks to buy a minority stake in U.S. investment company TCW Group, sources with direct knowledge of the deal said.
** Chevron Corp may miss its mid-October target for closing the agreed $2 billion sale of its natural gas assets in Bangladesh to a Chinese consortium as Dhaka weighs the prospect of a counterbid, people with knowledge of the matter said.
** Pacific Commerce, the trading arm of refiner Shandong Dongming Petrochemical, has purchased 66 percent more crude oil in 2017 than last year, both for its own system and for other independent Chinese refiners, a Dongming senior executive said.
** Exchange group Nasdaq Inc and Nordic financial services group SEB have teamed up to test a blockchain-based mutual fund trading platform for the Swedish market in an effort to simplify and make the process faster.
** South Korea’s SK Hynix Inc said its board had approved its participation in a consortium led by Bain Capital that plans to purchase Toshiba Corp’s memory chip unit for 2 trillion yen ($17.7 billion).
** Rossium, the investment vehicle which controls Russian lender Credit Bank of Moscow among other assets, may buy the bank’s three subordinated Eurobonds, it said.
** Saudi Aramco’s trading arm will start trading non-Saudi crude oil to mainly feed its international joint ventures as the world’s largest oil exporter seeks to optimise profits, industry sources familiar with the move said.
** Japan’s government said it had raised a total 1.3 trillion yen ($11.5 billion) from its sale of Japan Post Holdings Co - including shares sold in the overallotment portion of the deal that was determined on Wednesday.
** Privately run conglomerate CEFC China Energy has obtained preliminary state approval for its proposed $9.1 billion investment in Russian oil major Rosneft just about a week after the deal was announced, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
** India plans to offer stakes of up to 60 percent in oil and gas fields owned by state energy companies that are already in production to private firms, five sources with knowledge of the matter said, a move that would hit revenues of state explorers.
** Imagination Technologies, the British chip designer selling itself to a China-backed buyout fund, said another potential buyer had ruled itself out, removing a potential hurdle to the 550 million pound ($737 million) deal.
** Qatar’s third-largest lender, Commercial Bank, is in talks to sell its 40 percent stake in Abu Dhabi-listed United Arab Bank to the UAE’s Tabarak Investment, sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
** Myer Holdings’ largest shareholder asked the company for a full list of its owners, spurring takeover speculation of Australia’s biggest department store operator on Wednesday.
** Medical device maker Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corp has received U.S. antitrust approval to buy Johnson & Johnson’s Codman Neuro Division, the Federal Trade Commission said.
** Ford Motor Co said it will collaborate with Lyft to deploy Ford self-driving vehicles on the ride-services company’s network in large numbers by 2021.
** Metro Inc, Canada’s third-biggest food retailer, said it was in talks to buy pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group in a deal that values the company at C$4.5 billion ($3.62 billion), sending shares of the target surging to multi-year highs.
** African Gold Group and Hummingbird Resources said they had conditionally agreed on a $6.4 million deal for Hummingbird to operate the Kobada Gold Project in Mali. (Compiled by Sanjana Shivdas and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru)