BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, China

ICBC completes acquisition of U.S. bank

The US$140 deal was signed in January 2011 and approved by the Fed in May.

The world’s largest commercial bank has taken ownership of Bank of East Asia Ltd. US (BEA US).

The takeover of the bank by state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. is the first purchase of a controlling ownership in a US based bank by a Chinese bank. The US Federal Reserve last May approved ICBC's application to acquire an 80% stake in BEA US division.

The purchase makes ICBC the controlling shareholder of BEA US. This purchase gives ICBC a commercial bank license in US and allows it to operate retail banking business and enlarge its service network in US.

The US$140 deal was signed in January 2011 and approved by the Fed in May.

ICBC had 244 overseas institutions in 34 countries and regions as of the end of the first quarter of this year. BEA has 13 branches in the United States, running retail banks, commercial banks and trade finance business.

ICBC is the largest bank in the world by profit and market capitalization. It is one China's state-owned Big Four commercial banks. In 2011, it ranked number 7 on Forbes Global 2000 list of world’s biggest public companies.


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