DBS sells last stake in Manila bank

PHOTO: DBS sells last stake in Manila bank

DBS Group Holdings has agreed to sell its remaining 9.9 per cent stake in the Bank of Philippine Islands for S$850 million, a year after it cut its stake by more than half.

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Philippine firm Ayala Corp will buy the stake from DBS, the Singapore lender said in an announcement late on Monday.

DBS Group's move is part of chief executive Piyush Gupta's broader strategy to focus on larger, controlling stakes in other lenders, and to concentrate on its core markets.

Banks around the world have been shedding minority stakes in financial institutions to satisfy Basel III rules that require them to have additional capital buffers.

DBS earlier this year withdrew its bid to buy a controlling stake in Indonesia's sixth-biggest bank, PT Bank Danamon, after Indonesia's central bank limited single ownership in domestic banks to 40 per cent, from 99 per cent.

DBS said the move "is in line with DBS' focus on its core markets of Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, India and Indonesia".