OCBC to buy NAB wealth busi­ness in S'pore, HK

New Straits Times - - Business -

SIN­GA­PORE: Sin­ga­pore’s Over­seas-Chi­nese Bank­ing Corp (OCBC) said yes­ter­day it would ac­quire Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank’s (NAB) pri­vate wealth busi­ness in Sin­ga­pore and Hong Kong, in­creas­ing its mort­gage port­fo­lio by around four per cent.

The lender didn’t dis­close the size of the deal, only say­ing the amount would be around the book value of the busi­ness at the time of com­ple­tion. The deal would add 11,000 cus­tomers and US$1.7 bil­lion (RM7.39 bil­lion) worth of busi­ness to OCBC’s mort­gage port­fo­lio.

Sin­ga­pore banks have been ex­pand­ing their wealth man­age­ment op­er­a­tions in re­cent years as they strug­gle with their ex­po­sure to the stressed oil and gas ser­vices sec­tor.

“NAB’s broader strat­egy is to fo­cus on Aus­tralia and New Zealand — it doesn’t sur­prise me they’re sell­ing off in Sin­ga­pore and Hong Kong,” said Morn­ingstar analyst David El­lis.

NAB last year an­nounced a man­age­ment shake-up and a re­newed fo­cus on lo­cal busi­nesses.

It spun off its United King­dom op­er­a­tions and with­drew from busi­nesses in the United States. It also sold 80 per cent of its life in­sur­ance unit to Ja­pan’s Nip­pon Life for A$2.4 bil­lion (RM7.68 bil­lion) last Oc­to­ber. Reuters

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