January 6, 2014 / 2:51 AM / 4 years ago

OCBC shares fall 1.5 pct on Wing Hang bid news

SINGAPORE, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Shares in Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd (OCBC) lost 1.5 percent in early Monday trade on concern the bank might get caught in a bidding war after sources told Reuters it had begun exclusive talks to buy Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank Ltd.

Around 4.5 million shares of Singapore’s No. 2 lender by assets had been traded by 0215 GMT, compared with a 30-day average full-day volume of 3.6 million shares.

“There are some concerns that OCBC might overpay for the acquisition. Whether or not OCBC wins the bid, markets seem to be first selling on the bid news,” said a trader at a bank in Singapore.

OCBC requested a trading halt after around an hour of market open, pending the release of an announcement.

The shares were the biggest losers in a broader market which was up 0.1 percent. Peers DBS Group Holdings Ltd was flat and United Overseas Bank Ltd was 0.2 percent higher.

OCBC has offered about twice Wing Hang’s book value in a deal that would value the family-run lender at about $5.3 billion, two people familiar with the deal told Reuters.

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