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Standard Chartered on the hunt in Asia

Standard Chartered on the hunt in Asia

(7 June 2005 – Asia) UK based Standard Chartered has flagged its intension to continue adding to its Asian business by acquiring smaller banks in the region. Standard Chartered chairman Bryan Sanderson said acquisitions would "add weight" to its existing Asian franchise and that the bank had a particular focus on building its business in China.

In April, Standard Chartered bought Korea First Bank for US$3.3 billion, the largest acquisition by a foreign bank in South Korea, and the bank aims to triple its market share of the country’s financial services sector by 2012.

Last year, however, Standard Chartered lost out to Citigroup for South Korea’s KorAm bank.

Citigroup and HSBC are Standard Chartered’s key rivals in Asia and developing markets and Sanderson admitted the other two banks had the advantage of deeper pockets because of their US and European operations.

As a result, he said the bank had to take a different approach to its rivals in making acquisitions in the region.

"We have to look at something where the risk is appropriate," Sanderson said.

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