Bloomberg News

DBS’ Gupta Willing to Buy Asian Assets Shed by European Banks

November 02, 2011

Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- DBS Group Holdings Ltd., Southeast Asia’s largest bank, is interested in buying businesses that European banks may offload in Asia following the region’s sovereign debt woes, the lender’s chief executive officer said.

“If any of the European banks, as a consequence of the crisis, winds up shedding interesting Asian assets, that is something that we might look at,” CEO Piyush Gupta said at a news briefing in Singapore today.

He cited DBS’s acquisition of parts of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s retail and commercial banking business in China last December. “I’d be happy to do trades of that sort,” he said.

“At the right time and right price, we’ll always be a buyer,” he said, while adding that regulations in Asia impede acquisitions, particularly in China, India and Indonesia.

Gupta spoke after the Singapore-based bank unexpectedly posted a third-quarter profit gain of 6 percent as increased lending compensated for narrower interest margins. Net income rose to S$762 million ($596 million) for the three months ended Sept. 30, beating the S$682 million average of five analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

--Editors: Russell Ward, James Gunsalus

To contact the reporter on this story: Sanat Vallikappen in Singapore at vallikappen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net


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