4 Key Insights from Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Limited’s CEO

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Limited (SGX: O39) is one of the three major banks in Singapore. It is also one of the largest banks in Southeast Asia by assets and counts itself as one of the oldest banks in the Garden City.

Given its heritage and heft, there may be interesting things to learn from the bank. Earlier this year, Samuel Tsien, OCBC’s chief executive, was featured in an interview in The Asian Banker. I had picked out four key insights from the interview that may be useful for investors.

1. The CEO sets the stageclick here

2. It is all in the familyclick here

3. China, China, China

Tsien also talked about the importance of a “flow business” in Southeast Asia. He believes that Singapore is a hub economy which depends on investment flows, wealth flows, people flows, and trade flows.

And, China is a country that is important for flows in Asia. He said:

“And when you look at Asia’s flow business, the originator is primarily China, so we need a platform there.”

OCBC’s 2014 acquisition of the Hong Kong-based Wing Hang bank addresses this need.

4. But before talking about acquisition price …

Speaking of the Wing Hang bank acquisition, Tsien said that OCBC looked at the bank’s culture, did their due diligence and then, talked about price. The sequence is important, as he noted:

“So many times people say, let’s talk about the price, but we don’t. Because the basic ingredients must be there before we make the acquisition.”

In short, OCBC could be more interested in looking for something it thinks is good and needs, before talking about price.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.