SingaporeƆs great bank-off

OCBC wants to buy Keppel. DBS wants OUB. Now UOB wants OUB. What''s happening to the Singapore banking market?

The announcement by United Overseas Bank UOB that it wants to buy its competitor Overseas Union Bank OUB took few by surprise. Ever since OCBC announced its intention to buy Keppel Capital Holdings over two weeks ago, there has been something of a frenzy in the Singapore banking market. After some initial speculation, DBS announced a S$9.4 billion bid for OUB.

Meanwhile, the silence from UOB was deafening. Many analysts predicted that if the two announced deals between OCBC and Keppel and between DBS and OUB had gone ahead they would have resulted in UOB being so squeezed by the two new giants that it would have gone out of business. A deal...

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