Credit Agricole's Indosuez Wealth Management arm has signed a deal to buy the Singapore and Hong Kong private banking businesses of French rival Credit Industriel et Commercial (CIC), said CIC yesterday.
The two companies had previously announced that they were in exclusive talks over the transaction, which Indosuez Wealth Management said formed part of its general strategy to increase its presence in key, fast-growing markets such as Asia.
The lucrative and competitive world of private banking has often been the stage for merger and acquisition activities.
Last year, DBS Group announced plans to buy Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's wealth and retail businesses in five Asian markets.
ABN Amro also sold its private banking operations in Asia and the Middle East last year to LGT, a business run by the Princely Family of Liechtenstein.
The Indosuez-CIC Asian deal is expected to be finalised by the end of the year and is subject to both regulatory approvals and to customary employee consultation procedures in France, Reuters reported.
Asia is the fastest-growing region in the world for wealth management, with an expected 10 per cent annual growth in the coming years, said Indosuez.
In five years, Asia's weight in global private banking assets under management worldwide will be above Europe's and will probably constitute the largest pool of wealth globally, it added.