By Yongchang Chin 
 

DBS Group Holdings Ltd. is set to acquire Citigroup Inc.'s consumer-banking business in Taiwan in a deal the Singapore lender said will make it Taiwan's largest foreign bank by assets.

The bank will pay Citi cash for the net assets of its Taiwan consumer-banking business plus a premium of 956 million Singapore dollars (US$706.6 million), it said.

DBS plans to fund the acquisition via excess capital, adding that the deal won't affect its ability to pay dividends. It expects to complete the deal and reach full integration in mid-2023, subject to regulatory approvals.

The sale is part of Citi's strategy to exit its retail operations in the Asia-Pacific region and focus more on wealth-management and institutional clients. The U.S. bank expects these divestitures to release about US$7 billion of allocated tangible common equity over time.

Earlier this month, another Singapore bank, United Overseas Bank Ltd., said it was acquiring Citi's consumer-banking assets in four Southeast Asian countries.

Citi's consumer-banking business in Taiwan had an earning asset base of S$20.3 billion, comprising gross loans of S$11.3 billion and investment assets under management of S$9.0 billion, as well as total deposits of S$15.1 billion, DBS said Friday.

DBS expects the deal to "contribute at least S$250 million annually in net profit to DBS after Covid-19 recovery," it said.

"Notwithstanding Covid-19, we believe that Asia's long-term growth trends remain intact," said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta. "The acquisitions we have made since the start of the pandemic have given us a platform to build meaningful scale in some of our core markets."

Morgan Stanley is advising DBS on the acquisition.

 

Write to Yongchang Chin at yongchang.chin@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 27, 2022 19:46 ET (00:46 GMT)

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