Overseas-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) denied yesterday it had made a bid for 55 per cent of International Bank of Asia (IBA). Officials of Singapore-based OCBC said it had no acquisition plans in the near term. 'Following our recent announcement on the preference share programme, our chief financial officer stated that OCBC is not raising any money for a potential acquisition,' the bank said. 'Our position has not changed.' A Chinese language newspaper reported yesterday that OCBC had made the only bid for the 55 per cent stake in IBA, owned by Bahrain-based Arab Banking. On December 13 - the same day IBA announced its owners were quitting the Hong Kong banking market - OCBC established a preference share programme to raise funds. However, a report by Hong Kong-based Daiwa Institute of Research said the share programme was unlikely to be used to fund acquisitions. 'It is always possible that OCBC might have to make a sizeable regional bank acquisition . . . but with a new senior management team that is only beginning to learn the ropes of this unique organisation, we doubt that OCBC will announce a major coup over the next six months,' a report dated December 16 by analyst David Lum said. IBA spokeswoman Josephine Hau yesterday declined to comment. Since the overseas majority shareholders of IBA, Arab Banking and mainland financial firm China Everbright, announced they were in talks with a number of companies to offload their investments, the market has been rife with speculation. Other names mentioned included China-backed Citic Ka Wah and ICBC (Asia).