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East West Bancorp Completes Acquisition of First Central Bank.

SAN MARINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 28, 1999--

East West Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq:EWBC), parent company of wholly owned East West Bank, Friday announced the completion of its $13.5 million acquisition of First Central Bank, N.A. in an all-cash transaction.

The transaction is expected to be accretive to East West's earnings per share within the first 12 months of combined operations.

First Central Bank, with assets of $102 million, is a national bank with three branches in Southern California, specializing in serving the banking needs of the Chinese-American community.

"This acquisition further establishes East West Bank as one of the largest Southern California commercial banks and complements our long-term growth strategy," said Dominic Ng, East West's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We look forward to expanding the quality service First Central has provided to its customers."

Hans Chan, president and CEO of First Central, added: "We are very pleased to be joining the East West family. This acquisition allows us to better serve our customers with a greater depth and breadth of quality financial products and superior customer service."

East West Bancorp is a publicly owned company with more than $2 billion in assets, whose stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol "EWBC." The company's wholly owned subsidiary, East West Bank, is the fourth-largest commercial bank with headquarters in Southern California.

East West Bank serves the community with 22 branches throughout Los Angeles, Orange, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties. It is also one of the largest financial institutions in the nation focusing on the Chinese-American community.

This news release may include forward-looking statements that involve inherent risks and uncertainties. East West Bancorp cautions readers that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in any forward-looking statements. These factors include the effects of acquisitions and the ability to integrate acquired operations, market acceptance of the company's products and services, economic conditions and competition in the geographic and business areas in which East West Bancorp and its subsidiaries operate, inflation or deflation, fluctuation in interest rates, legislation and governmental regulation, and other factors discussed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 28, 1999
Words:367
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