UOB gets Bank of Asia on the cheap

ABN AMRO''s forced sale of Bank of Asia proves a steal for UOB at $550 million.

UOB has won its bid to take over Bank of Asia, Thailand's ninth-biggest bank by assets. The 80.77% stake, which it is buying from ABN AMRO, will cost the Singaporean bank Bt22.02 billion $550 million and significantly elevates its presence in the kingdom.

In line with the Bank of Thailand's financial sector masterplan, which dictates that banks must have only one presence in the country, UOB will merge Bank of Asia with UOB Radanasin, its existing local operation. The combined bank will have total assets of Bt227 billion and a network of 161 branches, which quadruples UOB's asset base in the country.

The same single-presence rule that will see...

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