OCBC names Credit Suisse financial adviser for strategic review of United Engineers stake

OCBC Bank and its insurance arm Great Eastern Holdings have appointed Credit Suisse as their financial adviser to help them review their options for combined stakes in United Engineers (UEL) and WBL Corp.
OCBC Bank and its insurance arm Great Eastern Holdings have appointed Credit Suisse as their financial adviser to help them review their options for combined stakes in United Engineers (UEL) and WBL Corp. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - OCBC Bank and its insurance arm Great Eastern Holdings said Thursday that they have appointed Credit Suisse as their financial adviser to help them review their options for their combined stakes in United Engineers (UEL) and WBL Corp.

The announcement came after shares of the holding company and property developer jumped nine cents or 3.5 per cent to S$2.66 earlier on Thursday, drawing a query from the Singapore Exchange before trading was halted.

OCBC, Great Eastern and the bank's founding Lee family reportedly hold a combined 30 per cent in United Engineers, which has a S$1.7 billion market cap.

Last September, OCBC and Great Eastern said they were reviewing options for their combined stakes in UEL.

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported citing sources that the major shareholders had been sending preliminary financial information on UEL's business to potential bidders since the end of December, with first-round bids due by the end of this month.

At least 10 parties including regional property developers, private equity firms and real estate funds have indicated interest, Bloomberg said.

OCBC and UEL spokespersons declined to comment on the Bloomberg report.