The Bank of East Asia Limited often abbreviated to BEA , is the 6th largest licensed bank in Hong Kong on total assets. Its chairman and chief executive is Sir David Li. Its head office is in Central.
It was co-founded in Hong Kong in 14 November 1918 by nine founders, and the impetus for the bank came from the grandfather Li Koon-chun , and the great uncle, Li Tse-fong of the present chairman (David Li), and Kan Tong-po, JP .The bank had its official opening on 4 January 1919. Today, the company has a market capitalisation of HK$68.4 billion (US$8.5 billion), as at 27 February 2011, with consolidated assets of US$103.5 billion (as at 31 December 2017). It is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with a stock code of 23. The Bank of East Asia has 72 branches in Hong Kong, and over 200 outlets on global basis. Worldwide, the bank employs around 10,000 staff.
In 1995, BEA acquired United Chinese Bank, which was fully merged with the bank in 2001. In 2000 it acquired First Pacific Bank. In 2001, the Bank of East Asia, Limited (Merger) Ordinance was passed by the Legislative Council of HK. Under this Ordinance, the business and undertakings of First Pacific Bank were transferred to BEA.