December 28th, 2007 | Xinhua ICBC to buy its HK unit shares from Fortis Bank
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) said on Thursday it
had agreed to buy HK$1.92 billion (US$246 million) worth of shares and
warrants of its Hong Kong unit — ICBC (Asia) Limited — from the
Spanish Fortis Bank.
The deal, if completed, would raise the stake of ICBC in its Hong Kong
unit from the previous 62.98 percent to 71.21 percent, the country’s
largest commercial lender said in a statement released in Beijing.
The purchase included an 8.23-percent stake in the common shares of
ICBC (Asia) Limited held by Fortis Bank.
ICBC (Asia) Limited was the flagship subsidiary in charge of ICBC’s
overseas business. It had become the sixth-largest bank, asset-wise, in
Hong Kong by the end of June with assets totaling HK$224.8 billion.
“The purchase of the stake from Fortis demonstrated ICBC’s confidence
in the future prospects of its Hong Kong unit as well as the financial
market in Hong Kong,” said ICBC’s President Jiang Jianqing.
The deal was still subject to approval of the China Banking Regulatory
Commission and related departments.