On May 11th, CITIC Bank held a press briefing via a conference call to elaborate on its decision to acquire a 70.32% stake in CITIC International Financial Holdings Ltd. or CIFH for a cash consideration of HK$ 13.563 billion. Mr. Cao Tong, Vice President of the Bank, said the deal has happened at the right time and the right price.
According to Mr. Luo Yan, Secretary to the Board of Directors of the Bank, CITIC Bank agreed with CITIC Group and Gloryshare Investments at the board meeting on May 8th to buy 70.32% stake of CIFH for a consideration of HK$ 3.35 per share, with a P/B ratio of 1.43 times. The deal will be examined at the upcoming General Meeting of CITIC Bank in June for shareholders’ approval. It is expected to be completed around October. The move will facilitate the tripartite collaboration strategy between CITIC Bank, CIFH and BBVA, and allow the parties to maximize synergies from this strategic alliance, according to Mr. Cao.
The acquisition of CIFH will benefit the Bank in five ways: it will 1) provide a well-built platform for the Bank’s international operations; 2) strengthen its overseas service capabilities by acquiring CITIC Ka Wah Bank--- a wholly-owned subsidiary of CIFH; 3) optimize its management system, bring in professionals with international expertise from Ka Wah Bank, and sharpen its overall competitive edge; 4) help integrate back office systems of the two banks, cut operating and management costs; and 5) put the Bank in an advantageous position in RMB cross-border trade settlement as Hong Kong will play a major role in this sector.
After the acquisition, CITIC Bank can further enhance its performance in both domestic and overseas markets, and generate better returns for shareholders, according to Mr. Cao.