Monday, March 10, 2008

ICBC: sufficient provisions against subprime crisis

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) <601398><1398>, the largest lender in the country by assets, said it has made sufficient provisions to guard against losses related to the U.S. subprime crisis, according to President Yang Kaisheng.

ICBC has set aside more funds on the top of its US$1.2 billion subprime securities at the end of third quarter of 2007, Xinhua News Agency reported last month.

"We can ensure the losses in the subprime-related investment should not be big, as it only accounted for a small proportion of the bank's total assets," said Yang.

ICBC will release its annual earnings report this month, Yang said, it will provide details about the bank's subprime-related investments. The Beijing-based bank expects profit up more than 60% in 2007.

Furthermore, ICBC is seeking more acquisitions overseas, said Yang, but declined to give more details. It has just completed its acquisition of a 20% stake in South Africa's Standard Bank for US$5.5 billion.

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