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Singaporean OCBC negotiates to acquire Wing Hang Bank

Singapore-based Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) is reportedly in discussions to purchase Hong Kong's Wing Hang Bank, as part of a strategy to further strengthen its presence in the region.

Sources familiar with the matter were quoted by Reuters as saying that the transaction is likely to value the family-managed bank at approximately $5.3bn.

Both parties are still finalizing the terms and conditions, the sources told the news agency, adding that binding bids were due in mid-December.

OCBC, which operates as a retail bank with over 70 offices in Hong Kong, Macua and China, has offered nearly twice Wing Hang’s book value, to persuade the firm to go ahead with the transaction.

If the proposed deal materializes, it will enable the OCBC to compete with rival DBS Group, which has a substantial presence in North Asia.

Several international financial firms including Agricultural Bank of China, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and Singapore’s United Overseas Bank, had expressed interest to acquire the business.

Goldman Sachs Group and Nomura Holdings are offering advices to Wing Hang Bank, while Bank of America (BofA) is advising OCBC, sources told the news agency.