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RETAIL FUNDS | Tony Chua, China
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BEA to acquire stake in Golden Eagle fund

A $4 million deal can provide Bank of East Asia Ltd (BEA) entrance into China's fund market.

BEA, Hong Kong's fifth-biggest lender, plans to buy a minority stake in Golden Eagle Asset Management Co, seeking to tap rising Chinese demand for wealth management services, two people familiar with the situation said, according to the report in Reuters.

Initially, BEA's asset management unit will buy about one tenth of Golden Eagle from an existing shareholder, and may increase its stake in the small Chinese fund house at a later stage, one source told Reuters.

"This is a short cut for BEA to enter China's fund market," said Zhang Haochuan, analyst at Z-Ben Advisors. The Shanghai-based fund consultancy, which is not involved in the talks, estimates that the deal may be valued at about $4 million based on Golden Eagle's current size.

BEA and other foreign banks are seeking to broaden their revenue streams in China.

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