SINGAPORE (June 28): United Overseas Bank (UOB) has entered into a joint venture that would help deepen the bank’s presence in China.

UOB and Shenergy (Group) Company will take a 19.9% and 80.1% respective stakes in the the newly setup JV called Shenergy Consumer Finance Co, a limited liability consumer finance company.

Shenergy CF will offer consumer financing in China, including personal loans for the purchase of energy products and services.

UOB says Shenergy CF will tap on the combined strengths of Shenergy’s customer base and ecosystem in the country’s energy sector and UOB’s risk management expertise.

Shenergy CF will have a registered capital of RMB500,000,000 ($98.5 million) and its establishment will be subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

UOB last year opened a new headquarters building in Shanghai UOB after first establishing a presence in China back in 1984 with a Beijing representative office.

Over the last decade, the total operating income and total assets UOB (China) both increased close to five times to 1.2 billion yuan (S$240 million) and 63.5 billion yuan respectively in 2017

Asked by the media recently if there was a possibility for more bank consolidation in Singapore, UOB CEO Wee Ee Cheong said this did not make sense because the three banks are more focused on their own expansions abroad and compete with foreign firms at home.

"We are actually fairly outward looking," he said. "It's not like we are all in Singapore."

Shares in UOB closed at $26.13 on Friday.