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OCBC says private bank to expand in Mideast, Europe

Source: Reuters - Thu 15th Oct 2009

OCBC plans to gointo new markets such as the Middle East and Europe with its private bank, after buying ING's Asia private banking assets, its CEO David Conner said on Thursday.

Conner said he was "not embarrassed" by the $1.46 billion price that Singapore's third-biggest bank has agreed to pay for the ING assets, and said OCBC was not going to retrench anyone at ING or its own private banking arm.

The deal, which will more than triple its private banking assets to $23 billion, announces OCBC's arrival as a serious wealth player in an industry shaken up by the financial crisis.

"One should not let a crisis go to waste" said Conner at a briefing.

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