Standard Chartered Bank has signed an agreement to acquire Singapore-based GE Commercial Financing, a specialist in SME factoring and hire purchase financing in Singapore.

The acquisition is expected to up-tier specialist advisory capabilities in Standard Chartered’s SME business and enhance the range of product and service solutions that can be offered to both new and existing SME customers in Singapore.

All necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained and the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of July 2010, said Standard Chartered.

The gross assets of the underlying business being acquired were SGD183m or $132m equivalent, as at December 31, 2009.

Ajay Kanwal, regional head of consumer banking for Singapore and Southeast Asia at Standard Chartered Bank, said: “This acquisition is strategic as it adds capability to our SME business, further strengthens our franchise in Singapore and helps us become a core bank to our SME customers. Given our longstanding and strong commitment to the SME business, this enhanced expertise will benefit our customers with increased financing options to capitalize on business opportunities.”