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Goldman, Warburg advance in China Huarong sale-sources

HONG KONG, April 9 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group and U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus are among the companies that have advanced to the next round of the sale process to buy a stake in China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

China Huarong Asset, the nation's biggest bad debt manager, has short-listed eight suitors, including Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, private equity firm Apax Partners and a unit of Deutsche Bank, the people said, declining to be identified because the information is not public.

Deutsche, Goldman and Warburg declined to comment, while Apax, Huarong and Khazanah did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Final bids are due in around mid-April, with winning bidders expected to be picked around June, one of the people said.

Huarong is planning to sell between 15 and 20 percent to strategic investors ahead of an eventual initial public offering as it seeks to raise over $2 billion to buy bad loans and forfeited assets from companies unable to repay their lenders, Reuters previously reported.

Some 20 investors expressed interest in the initial round.

(Reporting by Stephen Aldred; Additional reporting by Bi Xiaowen in HONG KONG and Niluksi Koswanage in KUALA LUMPUR; Editing by Denny Thomas and Ryan Woo)