DBS, Societe Generale jointly bid for Coutts

Visual from cover of company report

Singapore’s largest bank is set to team up with Societe Generale SA, in a bid for Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s (RBS) international private-banking operations, international news agency Bloomberg said in a report, quoting executives familiar with the development.

According to the report, DBS was among the banks that had submitted bids for Coutts International. If successful, the Singapore lender will take over Coutts International’s Asian operations while the French bank would assume the rest of the business.

The other players in the fray may include Credit Suisse, Julius Baer and Malayan Banking.

The report further also said that Coutts International could be worth anywhere between $600 million to $900 million, and added that the spokesperson for both DBS and Societe Generale in Paris had declined to comment.

DBS, which is looking at enhancing its presence outside its home market, had recently completed the purchase of Asian private banking business of Societe Generale SA (GLE). The $220 million cash funded deal was announced in March, 2014. Post the buyout, DBS said it has S$88 billion in high-net-worth assets under management, while its assets under management for all wealth customers had risen to S$129 billion.

In October, Royal Bank of Scotland Group had said it was selling Coutts International, its private banking and wealth management business, which has about $36 billion in assets under management

For DBS, the potential deal makes business logic as a third of the RBS’s assets under management are in Asia. This is also an important segment for DBS to expand in, as the Asia-Pacific region is set to overtake North America in having highest number of millionaires. A World Wealth report by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management, earlier this year, said number of millionaires in Asia-Pacific grew 7.3 per cent last year, the fastest globally, to reach 4.32 million individuals, just 10,000 behind North America.

RBS had appointed Goldman Sachs to oversee the sale process.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.