Standard Chartered eyes stake in Agricultural Bank of China
by Gill Montia
Standard Chartered Bank is to invest $500 million in Agricultural Bank of China (via the latter’s initial public offering in Hong Kong) in a move that follows a recent agreement between the banks to develop new business opportunities together.
Agricultural Bank of China is one of the top four commercial banks in China, servicing approximately 2.6 million corporate customers and 320 million retail customers.
Headquartered in Beijing, the bank had total assets of $1,306 billion as at 31st December 2009.
Commenting on the deal, Standard Chartered group chief executive, Peter Sands, says: “This investment is a natural next step in our longstanding relationship … China is a key market for us and our partnership is a strong symbol of our commitment there.”
The transaction is subject to the successful completion of the IPO and the proposed investment will be financed from Standard Chartered’s internal cash resources.
Earlier this week, Standard Chartered announced that that it has been “tracking towards another strong performance” in the first six months of the year.
At the end of May, income and profit were ahead of the comparable period in 2009 and the group is expecting annual growth to be in double digits in the second half.