Singapore Tycoon Wee Cho Yaw’s UOB To Buy Citi’s Southeast Asia Consumer Business For $3.6 Billion

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United Overseas Bank– controlled by billionaire Wei Chow Yaw – has agreed to acquire Citigroup’s consumer banking business in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam as the Singapore lender accelerates expansion into Southeast Asia.

The purchase consideration is about S$4.9 billion ($3.6 billion), which includes a premium of S$915 million on top of the business’s total net asset value of S$4 billion as of June last year. Upon completion of the deal, the price tag will be adjusted based on the NAV of the business, which is expected between mid-2022 and early 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.

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Wei Cheong, deputy chairman and CEO of UOB, said in a statement, “The acquired business, along with UOB’s regional consumer franchise, will create a powerful combination that will enhance UOB Group’s business and further our position as a leading regional bank. will increase.” Statement, E Cheong is the eldest son of banking and real estate tycoon Wei Chow Yew, who is currently chairman emeritus of the bank after stepping down in 2013.

The deal comes after Citigroup last month agreed to sell its Philippine consumer banking business to Union Bank of the Philippines, which counts the Aboetiz family, one of the country’s richest clans, as its largest shareholder.

Citigroup plans to exit its consumer banking franchises in 13 markets across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The disinvestment is expected to generate approximately $7 billion of allocated tangible common equity issuance over time.

Peter Babbage, CEO of Citi Asia Pacific, said, “The focus of our business through these actions will facilitate additional investments in our strategic focus areas, including our institutional network in the Asia Pacific region, thereby achieving optimal returns for Citi ” said,

The acquisition will add 2.4 million customers to UOB’s key markets in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, more than doubling the group’s regional customer base. 5.3 million, The Singapore-based lender said the Citigroup regional business, which generated approximately S$500 million in revenue in the first half of 2021, would be an immediate earnings call for UOB.

“UOB believes in the long-term potential of Southeast Asia and we have been disciplined, selective and patient in seeking the right opportunities to grow,” Wei said.

UOB, Singapore’s third largest lender by assets, was founded in 1935 as United Chinese Bank by Wei Chow Yew’s father, Wei Khiang Cheng. In addition to his controlling interest in the bank, 93-year-old Wei has significant stake in real estate companies including UOL Group and Kheng Leong. With a net worth of $6.8 billion, he was ranked 9th in the list of 50 richest people in Singapore, which was published in August.


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