BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, China

CCB to do M&As abroad

Intends to become a global bank by 2015.

China Construction Bank, the mainland's second largest bank by assets, is looking at a combination of branch network expansion and mergers and acquisitions or M&As.

President Zhang Jianguo said the network expansion will occur in the United States, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. He noted that CCB’s M&A strategy will focus on emerging markets where many Chinese companies are going to do business. Zhang said the starting point for the bank's overseas expansion will be to follow its clients.

Zhang’s statements contradict earlier CCB announcements that it was not interested in pursuing M&As.

"To go with them and provide banking services to them in those new local markets they are expanding into is the key goal for CCB's overseas expansion strategy," he said.

CCB, which is the mainland's top property lender and one of the Big Four state-owned banks, has a robust capital base that gives it more room to make large investments. Analysts believe CCB has enough cash to invest from US$8 billion to US$24 billion on overseas ventures.


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