BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

OCBC seeks more overseas revenues

The new CEO of the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation has grand plans for the Singaporean bank.

Samuel Tsien intends to expand the company’s revenue in China and Indonesia and away from Singapore’s moribund banking sector.

“We can create a better presence there, we can do more business there, and we can achieve a high level of performance in those markets,” said Tsien, who took over the job only this Monday.

He also noted there will be an increasing contribution on a proportionate basis from the newer markets. Tien, however, said he has no plan to reduce the lender’s presence in its major markets.

OCBC currently derives 85% of its pretax profit from Singapore and Malaysia. The company’s operations outside these key markets remains small and analysts believe OCBC will have to resort to M&As to further its foreign expansion.

China, Taiwan and Hong Kong accounted for 7% of the bank’s pretax profit in 2011 while Southeast Asia, excluding Singapore and Malaysia, contributed 4%.

OCBC opened its first branch in China in 1925 and now operates 16 branches. In Indonesia, OCBC owns an 85% stake in PT Bank OCBC NISP.

The bank's global network comprises more than 530 branches with representative offices in 15 countries and territories.

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