ICBC's US ambitions

Given the timing of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China's offer to buy 80% of Bank of East Asia's US unit for $140 million, it should win regulatory approval.

In a perfectly politically timed manoeuvre, just after the conclusion of President Hu Jintao’s four-day visit to the US with President Barack Obama, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China announced that it has agreed to the first Chinese takeover of a US retail bank.

ICBC has agreed to buy 80% of Bank of East Asia’s US unit for $140 million, pending regulatory approval in both countries.

Nice timing, that. Surely Beijing-based ICBC, the world’s biggest lender...

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