Dexia Asset Management deal signed

Signing dealHong Kong-based GCS Capital is to buy Dexia Asset Management from Franco-Belgian banking group Dexia SA, having entered into exclusive negotiations on December 4.

Huan Guocang, chief executive officer of GCS Capital, says together with its new strategic partner, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), he plans to broaden the franchise across emerging markets to capture capital flows.

“Asian investors are increasingly interested in genuine European expertise to identify value opportunities, while in China the financial services industry is both expanding and evolving – this presents an attractive set of circumstances where we see considerable opportunity,” he adds.

GCS Capital says it sees a significant opportunity to offer Asia-focused solutions to Dexia Asset Management’s existing European and Australian investors.

To support the establishment of onshore business in China, ICBC will provide assistance in establishing a presence and capitalising on the opportunities in the rapidly growing market.

The development of these East/West and West/East capital flows will be facilitated through new regional hubs in Hong Kong and Doha.

Following the deal, GCS Capital says its strategy is to maintain Europe as Dexia Asset Management’s centre of excellence, build upon the strengths of the existing platform by broadening its distribution reach to new markets - including Greater China and the Middle East – and enhance its product offerings to clients.

The acquisition is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions including the obtaining of regulatory approvals. HSBC Bank is acting as sole financial adviser to GCS Capital in connection with the proposed transaction.

Brussels-based Dexia SA received three bailouts in four years from France and Belgium.

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