OCBC edges nearer to Wing Hang full control

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 July, 2014, 1:35am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 July, 2014, 1:35am

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, Southeast Asia's second-largest lender, moved closer to a full takeover of Wing Hang Bank after investor acceptances for the bid accelerated in the past week.

Singapore-based OCBC raised its stake in its target by almost 11 percentage points to 67.8 per cent in the five days to Tuesday, filings with the Securities and Futures Commission showed.

OCBC had 56.9 per cent on July 17, up just 6.5 percentage points since July 4, according to the filings.

Acceptances for the US$5 billion bid dragged earlier this month as Elliott Capital Advisors boosted its stake in Wing Hang, which Mizuho Securities Asia said at the time could put pressure on OCBC to raise its HK$125 per share bid price.

The offer, made in April, has been accepted by shareholders including the family of Wing Hang's chairman Patrick Fung.

"It's nice to see this moving in the right direction," Mizuho analyst Jim Antos said. For minority shareholders, "HK$125 is a more than a fair price for Wing Hang Bank. Looking at the history of bank mergers in Hong Kong, it's a fair deal."

Regulations allow OCBC to delist Wing Hang once it owns 90 per cent of the shares. Should it fall short, OCBC must ensure that at least 25 per cent of the stock is in public hands, meaning it may have to sell shares to cut its stake. The offer closes on Tuesday.