RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, China

ICBC to buy 80% of Standard Bank Argentina

The largest bank in Latin America.

ICBC will soon have that distinction after it received approval from the Central Bank of Argentina to take over 80 percent-stake in the Standard Bank Argentina.

The approval will allow the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to complete the acquisition by paying no more than 650 million U.S.dollars to Standard Bank of South Africa and the Holding W-S De Inversiones S.A., shareholders of the 80-percent stake, as what has been agreed in August last year.

The ICBC will now work with the two shareholders for the follow-up to complete the purchase, according to the bank.

The Standard Bank Argentina is the 12th-largest bank in the country, with total assets standing at 4 billion U.S.dollars by the end of September.

The acquisition will make the ICBC the largest Chinese bank in Latin-America.

By the end of September this year, the ICBC has opened 270 overseas branches in 35 countries and regions, and its overseas assets stood at 154.5 billion U.S.dollars, up 21.5 percent from the beginning of this year. The bank's overseas branches also saw net profit totalling 796 million U.S.dollars, up 27.2 percent year-on-year.

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