Friday, May 11, 2012
Red China Buys a U.S. Bank
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Red China's biggest bank has been given clearance by the Federal Reserve to but the majority stake in the American subsidiary of Bank of East Asia. ICBC is paying $140 million to buy the controlling interest in the bank. And I do mean controlling interest...as in 80% of the bank's worth.
There are currently a few branches of Chinese banks in the U.S. (Chicago, New York and L.A.) but this is the first time for a takeover of a U.S. bank by a Chinese state-controlled company.
Wanna' bet it won't be the last?
After all, the response of ICBC Chairman Jiang Jianqing does suggest this is only the opening salvo. "This unprecedented acquisition of a controlling stake in a U.S. commercial bank by a mainland bank," he said, "is strategically significant."
I guess so.