China Cinda Asset Management Co. was the sole bidder for Hong Kong lender Nanyang Commercial Bank Ltd. in an auction that drew tepid interest amid China’s cooling economy.
Cinda Financial Holdings Co., a unit of the Chinese bad-loan manager, was the only firm to submit a binding offer by the Aug. 25 deadline, seller BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd. said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday.
BOC Hong Kong didn’t give any details of the bid. Cinda will pay near the reserve price of HK$68 billion ($8.8 billion), a person familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are confidential.
A deal at that price would be the largest purchase of a Hong Kong bank in at least a decade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The transaction will add to the $7.3 billion of bank takeovers in Hong Kong over the past five years as the city’s role in cross-border financing expands, the data show.
BOC Hong Kong, an arm of China’s fourth-largest lender by assets, said in July it was seeking at least HK$68 billion for Nanyang as part of a push to focus more on Southeast Asia. BOC Hong Kong said July 15 it would only accept bids from Chinese state-owned enterprises with experience operating a financial institution.
China Resources Holdings Co. and Yue Xiu Group, owner of Hong Kong’s Chong Hing Bank Ltd., were among suitors weighing binding offers for Nanyang, people with knowledge of the matter said last month. Cinda, China Life Insurance Co. and New China Life Insurance Co. were among those shortlisted to proceed in the bidding, people with knowledge of the matter said in May.
Representatives for Cinda and Yue Xiu declined to comment before the BOC Hong Kong statement, and a spokeswoman for China Resources said she couldn’t immediately comment.
Nanyang had 42 branches in Hong Kong and 38 outlets in mainland China at the end of 2014, with HK$303.9 billion of consolidated assets, according to its annual report.