A South Korean consolidation push has underpinned the value of mergers and acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific banking sector, a new report by SNL Financial has found.
The analysis – which looked at Asia-Pacific banks covered by SNL Financial – found 26 deals took place in the region over 2014 with a total value of $16.76 billion USD.
This represents a slight decrease in total value since 2013, when 25 deals were recorded totalling $21.81 billion USD, SNL found.
The report suggested bank consolidation in South Korea had been a driving force in the banking sector over the past year.
“South Korea was a hub of bank activity in 2014, with seven deals announced — more than any other Asia-Pacific country. India and China accounted for five and three announced deals, respectively,” the report said.
“Of the 12 domestic transactions in 2014, four involved South Korean banks, making the country the most active in terms of domestic consolidation.”
In terms of deal volume, however, China emerged as the most active country in the region, according to the report.
“The country saw 25 bank transactions totaling US$39.09 billion between 2010 and 2014, accounting for more than 24 per cent of the deal volume in the Asia-Pacific region,” it said.
The data showed the majority of deals were domestic transactions, with 54.5 per cent of deals made between domestic companies compared to 43.8 per cent in 2013.
The highest disclosed deal value in 2014 was Singapore-based Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd’s acquisition of Hong Kong-based OCBC Wing Hang Bank Ltd for a total of $4.95 billion USD.