SocGen Pulls Out Of HK, Singapore Banking Market

By Editorial 18 March, 2014

French bank Societe Generale (SocGen) announced on March 17, 2014, that it has agreed to sell its private banking activities in Singapore and Hong Kong to financial services group DBS. The transfer involves assets under management worth USD12.6bn, as of December 31, 2013.

Further to the transaction, Societe Generale announced that it has entered into a memorandum of understanding with DBS to develop a commercial partnership to combine the strengths of the two franchises. Through the partnership, Societe Generale's clients will be able to access DBS's private banking offering in Asia, and DBS's clients will have access to Societe Generale Private Banking's offering in Europe.

Societe Generale said the move would free up cash to accelerate its development in its core markets, and to further strengthen the services offered to clients in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

Tan Su Shan, Group Head of Consumer Banking & Wealth Management of DBS, said: "Over the past three years, our private banking business has consistently grown by about 20% a year, putting us among the top 10 players in Asia. We have now reached a stage where we are ready for inorganic growth. This transaction will give us access to new clients and strong, experienced teams, thereby strengthening our position as a top-tier wealth manager in the region."

 At completion, Societe Generale group will receive a cash consideration of USD220m for the franchise (subject to adjustment based on the net asset value and assets under management at completion), freeing up around USD200m of equity. The transaction is subject to approvals from the relevant authorities, and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014.

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