HONG KONG, Jun 2 (Reuters) – Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia Ltd (BEA), which is conducting a review of its portfolios and assets, said Tuesday it had no “outside discussions” to sell its. Hong Kong or China banking.
The bank’s statement to the stock exchange came in response to a Financial Times report Here this said BEA was in early discussions with financial and strategic investors about selling its Hong Kong and China banking businesses.
The bank said in March that it agreed to carry out a review of its assets, breaking four-year legal proceedings demanding a change to the lender promoted by activist investor Elliott Management.
BEA, which hired Goldman Sachs to assist with the corporate review, last month extended the deadline to provide a three-month shareholder update to September 30.
“The bank would like to clarify that it has had no external discussions regarding the divestiture of the Hong Kong or Mainland China banking businesses, and that no decisions have been made regarding any strategic alternatives for the bank’s business and operations under the of the comprehensive strategic review, “he said in his statement Tuesday.
Elliott has a nearly 8% stake in BEA and had previously urged the bank – whose main markets are Hong Kong and mainland China – to explore the possibility of putting itself up for sale in an open letter to shareholders, in which it it also said that the lender was poorly managed.
Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; edited by Richard Pullin