Rumour has it that South-East Asia’s second biggest bank by assets, Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) has made a bid for Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank.

Two people close to the deal are reported to have said that the Singaporean lender has offered less than Wing Hang’s market value of CNY14bn ($4.6bn) and that the companies are now in talks to resolve the gap in valuation.

The deal would represent OCBC’s biggest acquisition to date and would play a part in the bank’s plans to step up its overseas operations.

The acquisition would give OCBC an additional 70 branches across Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China.

Wing Hang’s presence in China makes it an attractive prospect for OCBC, as it would go some way to offsetting the low net interest margins in Singapore, where it currently makes around two thirds of its revenue and is the biggest bank by market capitalisation.

Spokespersons for OCBC and Wing Hang have both declined to comment on the reported bid.

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