SYDNEY: Commonwealth Bank of Australia agreed to sell its 99% stake in its Indonesian banking unit to Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp for about A$220 million (US$142 million).
Completion of the deal, subject to regulatory requirements, is expected in the second or third quarter of next year, CBA said in a statement Thursday.
The agreement ended years of speculation over OCBC’s acquisition strategy in Indonesia, one of its four key markets. It also marked chief executive officer Helen Wong’s first takeover since she took the helm of Southeast Asia’s second-largest bank by assets in 2021.
“This deal will strengthen OCBC’s presence in the Southeast Asian region, and will allow it to capitalise on Indonesia’s growth prospects,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Sarah Jane Mahmud.
OCBC counts Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Greater China as its core markets.
PT Bank OCBC NISP plans to acquire the remaining 1% stake of PT Bank Commonwealth from other shareholders and will be merged with Bank OCBC NISP, the Indonesian lender said in stock exchange filing.
Shares of Bank OCBC NISP jumped as much as 8% in early trading Thursday after the deal announcement. OCBC shares fell 0.6% as of 10:35 a.m., taking its year-to-date gain to 5.1%. CBA was little changed both on Thursday and so far this year.
CBA’s sale is in line with its strategy to focus on its banking business in Australia and New Zealand, the Sydney-based bank said. Australia’s largest bank said the transaction is likely to be neutral to its common equity Tier 1 ratio. CBA’s involvement with the Indonesian entity began in 1997.