Singapore lender OCBC is in talks to buy Wing Hang Bank Ltd. in a deal that could value the Hong Kong lender at more than US$5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter. The acquisition price is still under discussion but the deal could close in the first quarter, the report said. OCBC halted trading in its Singapore-listed shares Monday. Trading in Wing Hang Bank was suspended in Hong Kong. A spokesperson for the bank declined to comment and a representative for Wing Hang did not immediately have a comment on the matter, the report said. OCBC is Singapore’s second largest bank by assets after DBS while Wing Hang is a small lender with branches in Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau. In October, Chinese conglomerate Yuexiu Enterprises struck a deal to buy a majority stake in Hong Kong’s Chong Hing Bank for about US$1.5 billion in October. Hong Kong has a handful of family-owned banks which compete in a market dominated by HSBC Holdings Plc. and Standard Chartered Plc.
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