* European financial restructuring offers M&A opportunities
* Waiting for final approval of China licences
* Deal to buy Britain's Insight to close by early Nov
(Adds quotes, details, background)
By Michael Wei and Alan Wheatley
BEIJING, Oct 27 Bank of New York Mellon Corp
(BK.N) sees more acquisition opportunities in Europe than in
Asia, the head of the world's largest custodian of financial
assets said on Tuesday.
Robert Kelly, the bank's chairman and chief executive, said
European financial institutions had been harder hit by the global
economic crisis than their counterparts in Asia and were
refocusing their businesses as a consequence.
Banks in the United States were in a better position to mount
takeovers in Europe after going through a government-led process
of consolidation and capital raising, Kelly told reporters.
"What you will see in coming quarters is that U.S. financial
markets and banks are stronger than the European banks now," he
If some European banks were to sell businesses to raise
capital, the New York-based bank would be interested in buying,
Dutch bancassurer ING ING.AS said on Monday it would split
in two, transforming itself into a smaller European lender in the
most striking example yet of the deep changes that European Union
policymakers want to force on banks that received state aid.
In Asia-Pacific, by contrast, Bank of New York Mellon prefers
to expand through joint ventures or organic growth, not
acquisitions, Kelly said. That is because most financial firms in
the region are not in the process of overhauling their business
lines as they were largely untouched by the crisis.
Kelly said the bank was in the final stages of obtaining
regulatory approval in China for its planned fund management
joint venture with Xi'an-based Western Securities, in which it
will hold a 49 percent stake, the maximum allowed.
BNY Mellon is also awaiting approval for a full-financial
services licence in China, a process that is on the last lap,
"We see fabulous potential in the Chinese market over the
long term," he said. "We are not here to make money in the short
term. It is a long-term investment."
BNY Mellon aims to generate half of its profits outside the
Unites States within three to five years, up from roughly one
third now, Kelly said.
He said he hoped the bank's acquisition of Insight Investment
Management from Britain's Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LLOY.L),
announced in August, would close in early November.
The bank, which focuses on securities services for
institutional clients and asset management, stayed profitable
through the financial crisis and remains flush with cash for
The bank was among the first cleared to repay U.S. government
bailout funds, returning $3 billion to the Troubled Asset Relief
Program (TARP), which allows it to make M&A deals.
(Editing by Ken Wills)