UPDATE 2-DBS, ABN AMRO among final bidders for SocGen Asia private bank-sources

Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:58am EST
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* SocGen has short-listed five suitors

* DBS seen as front-runner to buy business

* SocGen's Asia private bank unit manages $13 bln

* Sale attracted interest from UBS, others early on

By Saeed Azhar and Denny Thomas

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Singapore's DBS Group Holdings and ABN AMRO are among the suitors to place final bids for Societe Generale's Asia private bank, in a $400 million deal, as smaller players exit the region's competitive private banking business.

A successful deal would make it the third major transaction in Asia's competitive private banking landscape since the global financial crisis, as smaller players struggle to generate enough revenue to support expensive bankers and rising regulatory costs.

Swiss bank Credit Suisse is another suitor submitting a final bid, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, after Societe Generale whittled down the initial list of 10 companies to five after the first round bidding. It was unclear if the remaining two bidders submitted final bids.

Societe Generale's Asian private bank unit manages about $13 billion, below the $20 billion mark that the industry has come to see as necessary for critical mass in the region.   Continued...