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Indosuez Wealth Management to buy CIC private banking business in Singapore, Hong Kong

INDOSUEZ Wealth Management, the private banking arm of Credit Agricole, France's second-largest bank is in exclusive talks with Credit Industriel et Commercial (CIC) to buy its private banking business in Singapore and Hong Kong.

The acquisition would boost Indosuez Wealth Management's private banking position in Asia and in line with its strategy to accelerate growth in key markets, as part of its "Shaping Indosuez 2020" corporate project, which is part of the Credit Agricole Group's medium-term plan, it said on Friday.

Both are small players in Asia's booming private banking industry and the acquisition will give Indosuez a higher profile in the competitive business. Neither featured in the 20 largest private bank players 2016 assets under management league table compiled by the Asian Private Banker.

Paul de Leusse, Indosuez Wealth Management chief executive said: "The combination of these businesses would bring together two players with similar cultures and values. Together we would strengthen our geographical footprint and our commercial offering whilst maintaining the highest compliance standards."

Pierre Masclet, Indosuez Wealth Management Asia chief executive Officer said: "The acquisition would be a new chapter for Indosuez's Asia presence and demonstrates our clear commitment and ambition to accelerate our development in the region."

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Indosuez in Asia has two booking centres - Singapore and Hong Kong - and a team of 72 relationship managers, according to Asian Private Banker. Globally it has 2,728 employees.

The region accounts for around 8 per cent of Indosuez's global activities and about 10 billion euros (S$15.5 billion) of its 110 billion euros assets under management, it was reported in a Straits Times article in January.

CIC's private banking staff of about 150 in Singapore and Hong Kong will be transferred to Indosuez following the acquisition. This includes all the relationship managers, middle and back office employees. The bulk of its staff is in Singapore where it has operated since 1984. CIC only opened its Hong Kong bank branch this year.

CIC which has about 300 employees in Singapore and Hong Kong will focus on the growth of its core corporate banking, structured finance and institutional businesses in Asia, it said in a statement.

The transaction is expected to be finalised by the end of the year and is subject to both regulatory approvals and to customary employee consultation procedures in France.

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