DBS Bank Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings, has agreed to pick up a 13% stake in China’s Shenzhen Rural Commercial Bank Corporation Limited (SZRCB) for 5.29 billion yuan ($814 million).
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Shenzhen Office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission have both given nods to the transaction.
The proposed acquisition is pending approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). Upon completion of the deal, DBS will become the largest shareholder in SZRCB and will have a representation on the Chinese bank’s board of directors.
DBS claims that the investment will accelerate its expansion in the rapidly growing Greater Bay Area (GBA) — an initiative by the Chinese government to link the country’s nine southern cities, including Shenzhen, with Hong Kong and Macau to create a common economic and business hub.
The move will also help DBS further increase its exposure to China, one of its six core markets. “We see this as a highly complementary strategic partnership that will allow us to double down on Greater Bay Area and leverage on SZRCB’s local network and know-how to deepen DBS’s GBA strategy,” said the bank’s CEO Piyush Gupta.
DBS, which is listed in Singapore, is Asia’s leading financial services group providing a gamut of services in consumer, SME, and corporate banking. It has built an extensive business presence in 18 markets, while remaining rooted in Asian markets such as Greater China, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.
SZRCB is a privately-owned commercial bank in Shenzhen city of southeast China. As of December 31 last year, it generated a net profit of 4.8 billion yuan ($739 million) and managed 519 billion yuan ($80 billion) in assets.