SINGAPORE Jan 7 Oversea-Chinese Banking
Corporation Ltd was headed for a fourth straight
session of falls after the company said it is in talks to
acquire Hong Kong's Wing Hang Bank, while the
Singapore index rebounded after a two-day losing streak.
The benchmark Straits Times Index gained 0.2
percent to 3,131.26 points by 0436 GMT, while the MSCI's
broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
eased 0.2 percent.
OCBC shares fell as much as 1.4 percent to a near one-month
low at S$9.73, on concerns about the high price tag of the deal.
More than 11 million shares were traded, three times its average
30-day full-day volume.
"Wing Hang is a moderate-sized asset in an unattractive
market," CIMB analysts said in a research note.
"We think OCBC should be well aware of this and not bid
aggressively just for a better position to capture future Asian
CIMB expected OCBC's share price to remain under pressure
from overpaying concerns.
OCBC, Singapore's second-largest bank, gained 4.8 percent
last year, lagging behind a 15 percent rally in bigger rival DBS
Group Holdings Ltd and a 7.2 percent rise in United
Overseas Bank Ltd.
CIMB is more positive on Singapore banks than their peers in
Southeast Asia, as Singapore is evolving as a funding centre for
Asian trade, which should more than offset weaker domestic loan
Among other stocks, shares of Singapore Technologies
Engineering Ltd edged down 0.3 percent to S$3.87,
shrugging off an announcement on Monday that its marine arm,
Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd, secured new orders worth
about S$446 million ($351.75 million) in the fourth quarter of