DBS CEO Tight Lipped on Barclays Acquisition

Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Group Holdings and DBS Bank

DBS Chief Executive Piyush Gupta remained coy on the status of negotiations for the U.K. banks Asian wealth unit, speaking at a briefing for his banks 2015 full year results on Monday in Singapore.

Piyush Gupta was typically upbeat as the largest bank in Singapore beat analyst expectations by producing a record net profit of S$4.45 billion for 2015 with total income crossing the S$10 billions mark. Hiring in 2016 will not be a priority though as the bank aims to manage expenses. 

«The fourth-quarter caps a strong year while unsettled financial markets in recent weeks have created short-term uncertainty, the region’s economic fundamentals are sound and the risks associated with slower growth are manageable,» said Gupta.

A Challenge to Gauge

For the wealth unit assets under management at the largest lender in the city-state grew by 9 percent to reach S$146 billion.

However as the results for the wealth business incorporate the whole suite of the banks «wealth management» offerings under one umbrella that shelters the red carpet retail businesses of Treasures and Treasures Private Client as well as DBS Private Bank it is a challenge to gauge how that growth is allocated.

Swotted Away

DBS was named recently along with fellow Singaporean bank OCBC and Zurich’s Julius Baer as suitors for the Asian wealth business of British bank Barclays. The estimated «market price» is said to be in the region of S$848 million.

When quizzed on the current state of play the CEO swotted away the question saying he could not comment. 

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