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March 17, 2014updated 04 Apr 2017 2:25pm

DBS to acquire SocGen Asia’s private banking unit for $220m

DBS has agreed to acquire Societe Generale’s (SocGen) Asian private banking unit, comprising of its Singapore and Hong Kong units, after much speculation.

By Sruti Rao

DBS has agreed to acquire Societe Generale’s (SocGen) Asian private banking unit, comprising of its Singapore and Hong Kong units, after much speculation.

This sale value represents close to 1.75% of SocGen Asia’s private banking assets under management of $12.6 million as of end December 2013.

South East Asia’s largest bank by assets, DBS, elaborates that this acquisition will increase the bank’s high net worth AUM by more than 20%, contributing to their ambition of becoming a leading wealth manager in Asia. With this transaction, DBS could, reportedly, overtake Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley in APAC wealth management.

As exclusively reported by PBI, Societe Generale had opened bids for its Asia private banking arm in September of 2013, amid its move to exit the market, and consolidate on its non-core businesses to manage rising costs and tight competition. DBS had emerged as a one of the final bidders, alongside ABN AMRO.

In a statement to the media, Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS, commented:

"We believe that acquiring Societe Generale’s private banking franchise in Asia will strengthen our wealth management value proposition and further entrench our position as a leading bank in this region. It is expected to be earnings accretive one year after completion, and we look forward to working closely with Societe Generale to ensure a seamless integration."

The acquisition aims to bring synergies across the customer bases as SocGen Asia clients are expected to have access to DBS’ universal banking platform including retail, corporate and investment banking as well as their private banking offering.

Concurrently, through a memorandum of understanding, DBS’ clients are expected to have access to SocGen’s private banking offerings in Europe as well as SocGen’s corporate and investment banking solutions.

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