SocGen mulls Asian bank sale
SINGAPORE: Societe Generale SA (SocGen), France's second-largest bank by market value, is considering selling its Asian private banking unit, said four people with knowledge of the matter.
The Paris-based bank has reached out to possible bidders to gauge their interest, the people said, asking not to be identified as the process is private. SocGen may send financial information on the unit to potential suitors as early as this month, one person said.
Wealth management firms expect more mergers and acquisitions in their industry amid pressure on margins and increased regulatory and tax scrutiny, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said in June. Asia is the fastest-growing region for private banks, according to McKinsey & Co.
"There are players who would want to bulk up on their assets under management and client advisers to add scale to their business," said Tjun Tang, head of Boston Consulting Group's financial services practice in the Asia-Pacific region. "For others, if you've got no pathway to growth and profitability, then maybe it makes sense strategically to exit."
Tang said potential acquirers include regional Asian banks or "mid- to larger-sized" international private banks, which typically manage US$25 billion (RM82.25 billion) to US$75 billion (RM246.75 billion) of assets. Bloomberg