The Indonesia-based owners of California's East West Bank have sold it to a group of mostly U.S. investors for an undisclosed sum.

About 150 institutional investors and "high-net-worth" individuals bought the stock in a private placement that closed late last week, Dominic Ng, president and chief executive officer at East West, said Monday. The sale was completed in less than three weeks and no investor accumulated more than 9.9% of stock, he said.

East West, with $1.8 billion of assets, is one of the largest bank's in the nation catering to Chinese-Americans. Founded in 1972, the bank has 22 branches throughout California.

Mr. Ng said the bank is planning to form a holding company and begin selling its stock to the public later this year.

- Alan Kline

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