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RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

ABN Amro sells its private banking business Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai to LGT

The sale will be completed in the second quarter of 2017.

According to a release, LGT, the leading international private banking and asset management group owned by the Princely House of Liechtenstein, has reached an agreement with ABN AMRO to acquire its private banking business in Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai with approx. USD 20 billion in assets under management.

The acquisition by way of an asset purchase agreement marks a major step in the implementation of LGT’s growth strategy and will further enhance its strong footprint in Asia and the Middle East. As a result of the transaction, LGT expects to increase its assets under management to more than USD 40 billion in Asia and to approx. USD 160 billion overall.

With the acquisition of ABN AMRO’s private banking business in Asia and the Middle East, LGT will significantly enlarge its current platforms in these attractive growth markets and build on ABN AMRO’s well established position and strong historical links with the region.

The opportunity to acquire the business followed ABN AMRO’s strategic decision to focus on the growth of its private banking activities in Northwest Europe. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Completion of the transaction is envisaged to take place in the second quarter of 2017, subject to approvals of the relevant authorities.

Sizeable, profitable client portfolio across key regional markets in Asia and the Middle East
The business that LGT has agreed to acquire encompasses private banking client relationships booked in Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai with assets under management of approx. USD 20 billion. The business has been profitable throughout the cycles and offers strong potential for further long-term growth. ABN AMRO’s operations in Asia were established nearly two centuries ago in 1826, and the client portfolio includes wealthy families, private investors and institutions across key regional markets in Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East.

Major step in LGT’s international growth strategy
The well-diversified and attractive client base is an excellent fit with LGT’s private banking business and its comprehensive offering in investment services, trading capabilities, credit solutions and wealth planning expertise. The acquisition marks a major step in the implementation of LGT’s international growth strategy and will further enhance its already strong footprint in Asia and the Middle East.

In Asia, where LGT first opened an office in Hong Kong in 1986 and has been operating with a banking license in Singapore since 2003 and in Hong Kong since 2011, assets under management are expected to increase to over USD 40 billion as a result of the transaction.

In the Middle East, where LGT opened its main regional office in Dubai in 2012, the acquisition will be a significant step-up in scale and reach, with the regional asset base expected to more than double. Overall, LGT expects to increase its assets under management to around USD 160 billion.

Swift integration based on LGT’s acquisition track record
The employees that will transfer from ABN AMRO as part of the acquisition will be integrated into LGT’s regional entities in Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai, respectively, and they will continue to look after their clients. LGT will be focusing on a swift integration process, which will be facilitated by LGT’s strong track record of successful acquisitions and its strong international corporate culture.

H.S.H. Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein, CEO of LGT: “Building on our successful presence in Asia and the Middle East and on ABN AMRO’s long tradition in serving clients in the region, this acquisition will allow us to further extend our market position and to achieve further profitable growth. Thanks to our long-term oriented ownership and strategy, our strong capital base and our high-quality services in wealth and asset management, we can offer attractive opportunities to ABN AMRO’s clients and employees, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming them within our group.”

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