ICBC expanding in Europe and Middle East: report

09:32, November 10, 2010      

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Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world's largest by market value, is accelerating its global expansion with new branches in Europe and the Middle East, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The Beijing-based bank opened a branch in Abu Dhabi Sunday and is planning others in Paris, Madrid, Milan, Brussels and Amsterdam as it follows a rising tide of Chinese firms going abroad, the Financial Times reported.

"ICBC anticipates some big developments in terms of Chinese companies doing more business in Europe and they want to be ready," the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior China-based European banker as saying.

The bank is also looking at potential acquisitions in Europe and the Middle East and plans to expand in Canada after buying a small network of six branches from Hong Kong's Bank of East Asia this year, the report said.

ICBC has a subsidiary company in Qatar and is mulling opening branches in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the report said.

The bank already has branches in London, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, where it is planning to establish its European headquarters, the report said.

ICBC has been the most aggressive of China's "big four" banks in expanding overseas, as the country's lenders restart plans that were put on hold by the global financial crisis and seize upon new opportunities left in its wake.

Source: Global Times


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