Singapore: Singapore`s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) Thursday announced the purchase of Dutch lender ING`s Asian private banking business for 1.46 billion US dollars.
"OCBC Bank announced today that it reached agreement with ING Bank N.V. to acquire its Asian private banking business... for 1.463 billion US dollars in cash," the Singapore bank said in a statement.
It said ING`s assets comprised Singapore-based ING Asia Private Bank Limited and its affiliated entities across the region.
OCBC, one of three homegrown Singapore banks, said its acquisition "marks a transformational step" in its private banking business, which involves managing the assets of the region`s growing ranks of millionaires.
It will also "more than triple the bank`s private client assets under management to 23 billion US dollars" and make it one of Asia`s leading private banks, the statement said.
OCBC said Asia is the fastest growing private banking market in the world, with assets under management in the region projected to grow 12.8 percent a year between 2008 and 2013, higher than the global growth of 8.1 percent.
In Singapore, assets under management have risen from 50 billion US dollars in 2000 to 300 billion US dollars in 2009, the bank said.
OCBC shares last traded at 7.74 Singapore dollars (5.58 US) before trading was halted earlier Thursday pending the announcement. Trading will resume when the stock market reopens at 2 pm (0600 GMT) after the midday break.