July 30, 2014 2:50 pm JST

OCBC acquires 97.52% of Wing Hang Bank shares

TOMOMI KIKUCHI, Nikkei staff writer

SINGAPORE -- Singapore's Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. announced Tuesday that it has secured 97.52% of Hong Kong's Wing Hang bank shares. OCBC will soon apply to delist Wing Hang from the Hong Kong stock exchange.

      OCBC's $5 billion deal to acquire all issued shares of Wing Hang hit an obstacle when hedge fund Elliot Capital Advisors, led by a billionaire Paul Singer, bought a 7.8% stake in the Hong Kong-based bank earlier this month. There was speculation that the move was intended to put pressure on OCBC to raise its offer price.

     After Elliot Capital's purchase of Wing Hang shares, OCBC issued a statement saying that the bank will maintain the offer price at 125 Hong Kong dollars ($16.5) per Wing Hang share. OCBC's spokeswoman confirmed that the bank has managed to purchase stakes from Elliot Capital, although the bank declined to elaborate further on the deal.

     OCBC's group CEO Samuel Tsien expressed his satisfaction with the results. In an email comment to media, he said the bank is "very pleased with the outcome." He added, "We will now work through the required process to take full ownership of Wing Hang Bank. Integrating the operations and businesses of Wing Hang Bank with OCBC will not pick up speed."

     With the acquisition, OCBC hopes to accelerate its expansion in Greater China region. OCBC will be able to add 70 branches in Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China upon integration of the branch networks.

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