China Daily recently reported that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which is the largest commercial bank in China, will acquire 60 percent of the International Market Division of the Standard Bank of South Africa for US$765 million. The International Market Division is headquartered in London. If approved, ICBC’s control will make it the first large Chinese state-owned bank to have large-scale operations in London. The British authorities used to refuse Chinese banks wanting to establish branches in London. Standard Bank of South Africa is the largest commercial bank in Africa. In 2008, it sold 20 percent of its stock to ICBC. In recent years, the Standard Bank has been shifting its focus to high growth regions in Africa. The latest deal will also give ICBC a five-year right to acquire an additional 20 percent of the International Market Division from Standard Bank.
Source: China Daily, January 31, 2014