Thursday, March 27, 2008

China expects more M&A abroad with US$ 2 trln forex assets

China's foreign exchange assets have amounted to no less than US$2 trillion in recent 30 years, and the asset is expected to stage more mergers and acquisitions (M&A) abroad, according to the top officials of major Chinese lenders on Saturday.

Banks in China are expected to stage more M&A overseas, ICBC's<601398><1398> chairman, Jiang Jianqing said. Compared with the world’s leading banks, Chinese banks are still weak in overseas performance. In fact, the overseas assets only account for 3% of the total, while overseas profits take up 3.6%.

Jiang expressed that globalization is a must-trend for Chinese banks, and the banking sector has increasingly consolidated its presence after public listings and introducing strategic investors.

China's fixed-assets related to the overseas investment hit US$100 billion by the end of 2007, said Guo Shuqing, Chairman of China Construction Bank (CCB)<601939><939>.

He also noted that Chinese banks are eager to go global, considering clients demand and risk dilution, and stressed that CCB would stick to localization rather than direct control of the banks.

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