The Bank seized opportunities in 1998 to further extend its regional franchise. Notwithstanding the economic downturn, we remain committed to becoming a leading bank in the region. From our strong foundation in Singapore, we aim to create a network of branches and subsidiaries located in key regional countries that can deliver a comprehensive range of local and cross-border banking products and services to an increasingly diverse customer base.
In March, DBS Bank acquired a 50.27% stake in Thailand's Thai Danu Bank and shortly thereafter completed a 60% acquisition of Bank of Southeast Asia (since renamed DBS Bank Philippines). Integration of activities, systems and infrastructure of the new banking affiliates is progressing smoothly. In December, we announced a conditional voluntary offer for Kwong On Bank of Hong Kong after receiving irrevocable undertakings from existing shareholders to sell us a 65 percent interest.
The DBS regional network has now grown to include 1,424 banking locations including ATMs in 12 countries serving more than 5 million customers. In Shanghai, DBS Bank was in the second batch of ten foreign financial institutions to be granted licences to conduct Renminbi business. Our Shanghai Branch commenced Renminbi services in April 1999.