UPDATE 1-Julius Baer sets up venture with Siam Commercial Bank to tap Thai wealth


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HONG KONG (Reuters) – Swiss private bank Julius Baer Gruppe AG (BAER.S) is forming a joint venture with Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank Pcl (SCB) (SCB.BK), the latest foreign entrant looking to tap growing wealth in the Southeast Asian country.

FILE PHOTO: The logos of Siam Commercial Bank are pictured at an exhibition hall in Bangkok, Thailand, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo

Julius Baer will hold 40 percent of the joint venture’s initial registered capital of 1.8 billion baht ($57.53 million) while SCB, Thailand’s second-largest bank by assets, will own 60 percent, the two firms said on Thursday. Julius Baer will have the option to increase its stake in the venture to 49 percent over time.

“The cooperation will immediately complement SCB’s existing private banking capabilities whilst opening access for Julius Baer to the fast-growing Thai wealth management market,” according to a joint statement.

Thailand’s overall wealth market is estimated to be around $300 billion, with a rapidly growing population of high net worth individuals of about 30,000, according to the BCG Global Wealth Report 2017.

The nation’s growing economy and rising wealth have already lured some global private banks to set up an onshore presence, with Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) launching its wealth management in Thailand in 2016.

Another Swiss private bank, Lombard Odier, is a partner of Thailand’s third-ranked bank, Kasikorn Bank Pcl (KBANK.BK). Regional peers like Malaysia-based CIMB (CIMB.KL) and Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOBH.SI) also have wealth management units in Thailand.

The Julius Baer-SCB venture will operate via companies in Thailand and Singapore, the statement said.

Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Additional reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; in BANGKOK; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman


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