China in shopping spree

XIANGHE, China - China will push its banks to forge deeper into overseas markets for acquisitions and a global profile, a top bank regulator said yesterday.

XIANGHE, China - China will push its banks to forge deeper into overseas markets for acquisitions and a global profile, a top bank regulator said yesterday.

"We will encourage Chinese banks to go abroad to participate in international competition and overseas acquisitions to improve global competitiveness," Wang Zhaoxing, assistant chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, told a financial forum in Xianghe, China's Hebei province.

Flush with cash after blockbuster share flotations and their books cleaned up thanks to government-led billion-dollar rescue packages, Chinese banks are increasingly opening branches and buying into overseas banks.

Last week China's biggest lender, ICBC, bought a 20percent stake in South Africa's Standard Bank for about R36,7billion, the biggest foreign acquisition by a Chinese commercial bank. - Reuters

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