|OCBC makes overtures to Wing Hang
Singapore's Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp said it was in exclusive talks to acquire Hong Kong's Wing Hang Bank, in a move that could give it greater access to the Chinese market.
OCBC said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange it signed an “exclusivity agreement'' on December 31 with the substantial shareholders of Wing Hang.
Under the accord, the substantial shareholders agreed to hold exclusive talks with OCBC until the end of January to finalize terms “for a possible transaction'' that would involve the Singapore bank making a general offer for all Wing Hang shares.
OCBC is Singapore's second biggest bank by total assets.
Grace Wu, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Daiwa Capital Markets, said Hong Kong banks are attractive buys.
“For banks in Asia, acquiring a Hong Kong bank would provide immediate access to China, as most of them have locally incorporated subsidiaries in the mainland,'' Wu told AFP.
“And for banks like Wing Hang Bank – which also enjoys a presence in Macau – the M&A [merger and acquisition] appeal is even greater, in our view.''
Wing Hang has 75 branches across Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau, according to its website.