Saturday, December 02, 2006

Is financial expansion likely to be China's next step of "go global" strategy?

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the largest lender of the world's most populous country, was reported to have been preparing for acquiring Bank Halim, a much smaller Indonesian bank. This move, together with smilar activities by other state-controlled commercial banks that have run IPOs in recent years, may implies a start of potential international expansion by the Chinese banking giants, just following the coutry's efforts in hunting for energy assets around the globe, from the Middle East to west Asia and Africa, despite the apparant weakness in the country's banking system. Why? One of the reasons might be the close relationship between finance and energy.

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