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DBS' operations in Hong Kong legally merged to become DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited

HONG KONG, JULY 21, 2003 - DBS Group Holdings Ltd announced today the completion of the legal merger of Dao Heng Bank Limited, DBS Kwong On Bank Limited and Overseas Trust Bank, Limited.

DBS Group's combined operations in Hong Kong will adopt the new legal name "DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited" (DBS Bank Hong Kong) and the new Chinese name "星展銀行(香港)有限公司".

Integration of DBS' Hong Kong operations was virtually complete at the time DBS Group executed the purchase of the second and final tranche of Dao Heng Bank shares earlier this year. However, under Hong Kong regulatory and legislative requirements, consolidation to a single banking license requires the passing of a Merger Ordinance by the Hong Kong Legislature. The necessary legislative approvals were granted recently, paving the way for a full legal merger, effective today.

The legal merger marks the final step in the integration of the operations of the three banks. DBS' overall banking operations in Hong Kong now form the fourth largest banking group in Hong Kong with total assets of HK$186 billion, a retail network of 65 branches and about 3,600 employees in the Special Administrative Region of China.

DBS Group Holdings' Chief Executive Officer Jackson Tai, said: "The legal merger of Dao Heng Bank, DBS Kwong On Bank and Overseas Trust Bank to form DBS Bank Hong Kong represents the final milestone of our integration journey. Our operations, processes, products and services in Hong Kong are now part of a seamless whole that will better position us to deliver greater convenience and outstanding service to our customers.

"The legal merger also paves the way for the launch of a new, dynamic brand in Hong Kong, a brand that is already a household name in Singapore."

From today, new signage bearing the red coloured "four-rayed star" logo of DBS brand will replace existing signage at the branches of Dao Heng Bank, DBS Kwong On Bank and Overseas Trust Bank.

Commenting on the benefits of the merger and re-branding, DBS Bank Hong Kong Chairman, Frank Wong said: "We are very pleased with the speed and smoothness of the integration process, which is one of the keys to the success of the merger.

"With the integration of our operations in Hong Kong, our customers can benefit from greater choice through a wider array of products and services.

"Hong Kong is the second pillar of our pan-Asian strategy and the adoption of the DBS brand will enable us to leverage on the strengths of our Singapore-based parent, namely a solid balance sheet, a 35-year track record of steady growth and one of the highest credit ratings among banks in Asia.

"The merger will deepen our presence in Hong Kong and in the growth markets of North Asia, in particular, China where many of our small and medium-sized customers have plans to expand and diversify their businesses."

In Hong Kong, DBS Bank branch network and offices offer customers a complement of retail, corporate, investment and securities services. It is the SAR's third largest credit card issuer and commands about 11 per cent of the market share for trade financing. Through its branches, it sold HK$ 6.3 billion worth of investment products last year and is one of the leading players in the Hong Kong dollar derivatives market.

DBS Bank was recently appointed lead manager and underwriter of Cheung Kong Holdings' Fortune REIT, the first real estate trust by a Hong Kong issuer expected to be launched in Singapore at the end of July.

For more information on DBS Bank Hong Kong, please visit our website www.dbs.com/hk or call DBS' dedicated hotline on 852-2961 2312 or 852-3199 8000 for more updated information on the merger.

 
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