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China’s State Bank Took Over U.S. Branch of Bank of East Asia

On May 9, 2012, days after high-level US-China economic talks took place in Beijing, the Federal Reserve approved an application from the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to buy a majority stake in the U.S. subsidiary of the Bank of East Asia. The transaction will make ICBC the first Chinese state-controlled bank to acquire retail bank branches in the United States.

ICBC has total assets of roughly $2.5 trillion. It will buy up to 80 percent of the U.S. branch of the Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia, which operates 13 branches in New York and California.

In other Fed board decisions, the Bank of China, the country’s third-largest bank, won approval for a branch in Chicago. The Agricultural Bank of China, the fourth-largest bank, is set to establish a branch in New York City, where it already operates a representative office.

Source: International Herald Leader under Xinhua, May 21, 2012