Wednesday, March 05, 2008

ICBC completes acquisition of 20% stake in Standard Bank

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)<601398><1398>, the largest lender in the country, on Monday completes the acquisition of a 20% stake in South Africa’s Standard Bank for about RMB 33.814 billion (US$4.759 billion), the lender said in a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

ICBC acquires a total of nearly 305.01 million shares. The acquisition helps the African bank boost its capital base by US$2.1 billion, and at the same time, it will bolster ICBC's expansion, according to sources.

To further develop the partnership, the two lenders are also finalizing the terms of US$1 billion global resource fund, in which each will inject US$200 million with the remaining made up by a third party.

Over recent years, ICBC has been in a larger push into overseas markets. Sources reported that the bank was now targeting more foreign banks, such as the weakening U.S. lenders, and expected to make a move later this year.

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