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Taiwan's Cathay Financial scraps plan to buy Bank of Nova Scotia's Malaysia unit

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Taiwan's Cathay Financial Holding Co <2882.TW> said on Wednesday two of its group firms have scrapped a plan to buy Bank of Nova Scotia's <BNS.TO> Malaysian unit as the deal could not closed before its deadline.

Cathay Financial said last year that its subsidiaries, Cathay United Bank and Cathay Life, would buy the unit for $225 million in a move that would have enabled the financial holding company to widen its reach in Southeast Asia.

Cathay Financial had said at the time the two sides had until April 30 to agree on deal terms.

Taiwan's government has been encouraging more investment into Southeast Asia, with Taiwanese financial conglomerates seeking to diversify revenue for their competitive home market.

(Reporting by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)