Barclays share price: OCBC to buy lender’s Asia wealth division

on Apr 7, 2016
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) has agreed to buy Barclays’ (LON:BARC) wealth management operations in Singapore and Hong Kong for an estimated $320 million (£227 million), the Singapore lender has said. The sale is part of Barclays’ plans to pull out of several Asian countries as it looks to trim costs.

Barclays’ share price has been little changed in early morning trading, having added 0.27 percent to 149.95p as of 08:09 BST. The advance is largely in line with gains in the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.38 percent higher at 6,185.01 points.
OCBC said in a statement this morning that its wholly owned subsidiary, Bank of Singapore, had entered into an agreement to acquire Barclays’ wealth management and investment business in Hong Kong and Singapore for about $320 million in cash. OCBC explained that the purchase price was set at 1.75 percent of the wealth unit’s assets under management to be transferred to Bank of Singapore upon completion of the deal.

People with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg that DBS, also based in Singapore, had submitted a non-binding bid for the Barclays unit.
The disposal comes with the FTSE 100 lender, which recently hired Lazard to advise it on the disposal of its Asian wealth management arm, planning to pull out of several Asian countries as part of a broader retrenchment, which may lead to more than 1,000 job cuts across its investment banking arm.
Analysts meanwhile remain upbeat on Barclays with Macquarie reiterating its ‘outperform’ rating on the stock today with a valuation of 230p. Shore Capital continues to see the blue-chip lender as a ‘buy’ without specifying a price target. Barclays is scheduled to update investors on its first-quarter performance on April 27, with the report to be followed by the lender’s annual general meeting on April 28.
As of 08:44 BST, Thursday, 07 April, Barclays share price is 149.70p.