Chinese bank ICBC to pay $140m for BEA division
Chinese bank ICBC confirmed on Sunday it would pay $140 million to buy a majority stake in the US subsidiary of Bank of East Asia, allowing it to enter the US retail banking market.
The bank, the world's largest by market value, will own 80 percent of the division, according to a statement emailed to the news agency.
Jiang Jianqing, ICBC chairman, said in the statement that the deal, which still requires the approval of Chinese, Hong Kong and US regulators, would enable the state-owned giant to get a US commercial banking licence.
The agreement comes as Beijing and Washington seek to increase trade and investment, signing $45 billion in trade deals during President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States earlier this week.
ICBC has been the most aggressive of China's "big four" banks in expanding overseas, as the country's lenders restart plans that were put on hold by the global financial crisis and seize new opportunities left in its wake.
The Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia has 13 branches in the United States. ICBC in January last year bought a 70 percent stake in the bank's Canadian subsidiary.