Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd , the world’s top lender by market value, will establish a presence in Brazil with initial start-up capital of $100 million as it looks to tap growing trade flows between the two countries.
ICBC do Brasil Banco Multiplo SA would be based in Sao Paulo and would focus on commercial and investment portfolios, Brazil’s central bank said in a statement.
“They’re likely to look at developing markets where there is a strong amount of trade with China to expand their operations,” said Mirae Asset Management analyst Patrick Pong in Hong Kong.
Bilateral trade between China and Brazil has soared from just over $2 billion in 2000 to $56.2 billion in 2010. China has surpassed the United States as Brazil’s main trading partner and was the biggest single source of foreign direct investment.
ICBC has been looking to expand in overseas markets as Beijing curtails lending to cool the country’s red-hot economy. It bought 80 percent of Bank of East Asia Ltd’s U.S. unit in January this year for $140 million.
The bank also has an international commercial banking arm, ICBC (Asia), with retail operations in Hong Kong, Singapore and other cities in the region. (Reuters)