A restructuring of assets held by the Guoco Group was flagged yesterday when it requested the suspension of its shares, along with those of 71.47 per cent-held Dao Heng Bank. No comment was available from Guoco yesterday, but the move is expected to herald a long-awaited restructuring likely to involve its banking arm, along with its separately-held financial services division. There has been a long-rumoured suggestion that Singapore's DBS Bank might be looking to build a stake in Dao Heng. However, DBS shares were not suspended. A source close to Dao Heng said a restructuring of its banking and financial services businesses would precede a sale. 'I'd have thought that Guoco would have been unwilling to sell the whole of the bank and maybe one investor will come in to take a stake in Dao Heng,' the source said. DBS is not the only interested party, with other potential buyers including the Kuwaiti Investment Office, which already has a 10 per cent stake in Guoco, according to the source. 'There have been approaches,' he said. Under the separate umbrella of Financial Services (Hong Kong), Guoco holds Dao Heng Securities, Dao Heng Fund Management, and Dao Heng Insurance. 'I don't think Guoco will sell the bank without selling these other assets because there's no point of keeping them if you're going to sell the bank,' said the source. A purchase of the financial services divisions by Dao Heng Bank group was the likely cause of the request for suspension of the shares, said Warren Blight, head of Asian banking research for ING Barings. 'Fundamentally we would view this as a positive for a number of reasons - it would help to diversify the bank's income streams, it would ascribe a higher value to the assets - since Dao Heng trades at a higher multiple than Guoco - and it would be a way of using some of Dao Heng's excess capital, since it has a capital adequacy ratio of 23 per cent that is diluting return on equity.' Guoco Group's shares closed at HK$27.50 on Thursday, up 13.17 per cent, and Dao Heng Bank's shares ended at HK$37.60, up 2.73 per cent.