17 January, 2010

Singapore Bank Mergers & Acquisitions (Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.)

An OCBC branch in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. With speical thanks to my friend Weekit Ong for taking this photo and giving me permission to use it here.

You can visit Weekit Ong's photostream via this link:

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd.

 Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd.

In 1912, a Chinese businessman named Lee Choon Guan established the Chinese Commercial Bank Ltd. in Singapore. In 1917, another fellow Chinese Singaporean founded the Ho Hong Bank Ltd., with branches in Singapore, as well as in neighbouring Malaya (now Malaysia) and the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). In 1919, the Oversea-Chinese Bank was established with operations in both Singapore and Malaya. In 1932, these three banks amalgamated to form the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., becoming the biggest bank in the then Straits Settlements.

During the 1930s, OCBC opened several branches in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. In 1949, the bank’s operations in China, which had been established in the 1920s by the predecessor banks, were significantly restricted when the Communists took over the regime.

The bank opened a London branch in 1969. In 1972, OCBC acquired a majority interest in rival Four Seas Communications Bank, which began in 1906 as the Sze Hai Tong Banking and Insurance Co. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, representative offices and branches were opened in New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Jakarta, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur. In 1986, OCBC acquired the remaining stake of Four Seas Communications Bank.

OCBC and Indonesia’s PT Bank NISP formed a joint-venture called PT Bank OCBC-NISP to serve the Indonesian wholesale banking market in 1995, with OCBC owning an 85% stake.

Keppel Capital Holding (Keppel TatLee Bank)

In 1959, a Chinese émigré founded the Asia Commercial Bank in Singapore. In 1990, Asia Commercial Bank was acquired by a finance company under the Keppel Group and renamed Keppel Bank. Like other Singaporean banks, Keppel sought market growth outside of the tiny city-state and in the 1990s, bought minority stakes in a Thai and a Hong Kong bank. It also opened offices in Burma, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia.

In 1973, an Indonesian Chinese family and the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) created the Tat Lee Bank. In 1990, Tat Lee (42.5%), DBS (42.5%) and an Indonesian partner PT Bank Buana Indonesia (15%), created a joint-venture called PT Bank DBS Tat Lee Buana with offices in Jakarta and Surabaya.

Recent transaction(s):
  • In 1997, Tat Lee bought out DBS’ 42.5% stake in PT Bank DBS Tat Lee Buana and renamed the Indonesian bank PT Bank Tat Lee Buana.
  • Also in 1997, Keppel Bank bought 90% of Philippines’ ailing Monte de Piedad & Savings Bank with 30 branches. The bank was then renamed Keppel Bank Philippines. The Philippines unit was not part of the Keppel Bank that merged with Tat Lee Bank in 1998. In 2005, Keppel Corp. sold KBP to GE Money for SGD $43.5-million (USD $26-million, PHP 1.45-billion).
  • In 1998, to protect the domestic banking sector, as well as to prevent the United Overseas Bank – OCBC duopoly, the Singapore government brokered the merger of Keppel Bank and Tat Lee Bank to form the Keppel TatLee Bank.
  • In 2001, OCBC bought Keppel Capital Holdings and its main subsidiary Keppel TatLee Bank for SGD $5.21-billion (USD $2.86-billion). Keppel TatLee was Singapore’s smallest domestic bank with 34 branches in the city-state, plus three overseas branches.
  • In 2004, OCBC bought a 22.5% stake in PT Bank NISP for SGD $119-million (IDR 602-billion). Ranked No. 12 in Indonesia, PT Bank NISP had 135 branches. Subsequently, OCBC's ownership in PT Bank NISP rose to 85%.
  • Between late 2004 and 2005, OCBC raised its stake in PT Bank NISP from 22.5% to 72.3% for SGD $398-million (IDR 2,273-billion).
  • In 2006, OCBC bought 12.2% of China’s Ningbo Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. for CNY 570-million (SGD $120-million). The small Chinese lender had 65 branches in Ningbo.
  • Also in 2006, OCBC offered to buy out the 16.8% of Great Eastern Holdings Ltd. that it did not already own for SGD $1.28-billion. Great Eastern was the largest insurance group in Singapore and Malaysia with more than 2.6-million policyholders. However, when the offer closed, OCBC only raised its holding in Great Eastern by 3.7% to 86.9%.
  • In 2008, OCBC raised its stake in Malaysian financial services firm PacificMas Bhd. from 28.1% to 67% for SGD $124-million.
  • In October 2009, OCBC bought ING Groep’s Asian private banking operations SGD $2.04-billion (USD $1.46-billion, Eur 981-million). The business purchased managed Eur 11-billion (USD $16.4-billion) of assets in the Far East. Subqequently, the newly-acquired private bank was renamed Bank of Singapore
  • In April 2014, OCBC acquired Hong Kong's Wing Hang Bank for HKD $38.7-billion (SGD $6.23-billion, USD $5.0-billion).  Wing Hang Bank was established in 1937 by the Fung family.  Wing Hang Bank and subsidiary Wing Hang Credit had a network of 80 offices in Hong Kong, Macao/ Macau and China.  Following the acquisition, Wing Hang Bank was renamed OCBC Wing Hang Bank.
  • In April 2016, OCBC bought Barclay's wealth and investment management business in Singapore and Hong Kong for USD $228-million. The price was lowered from USD $320-million due to a drop in the asset under management transferred.

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