OCBC bulks up in battle for Asia's billionaires

Beating rival Singapore bidders DBS and UOB, OCBC has gained a leg-up in the regional race for relationship managers by buying Barclays's Asia private banking business.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp emerged as the winner on Thursday from a fierce fight to buy Barclays’s private banking business in Singapore and Hong Kong with a $320 million S$434 million cash bid.

The auction was a rare case of all three of Singapore’s major banks  OCBC Bank, DBS and United Overseas Bank  competing head-to-head.

Contestants were seemingly not put off by China’s crackdown on wealthy citizens sending money overseas either to Hong Kong or Singapore, nor by the intense scrutiny of offshore wealth management structures in the wake of the leaked Panama papers.

Barclays's Asian private banking...

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