Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

China’s ICBC linked to Standard Bank Argentina

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on March 22, 2011

by Jude Webber and Richard Stovin-Bradford for Financial Times – Beyond Brics, March 21st, 2011.

China burst into Argentina in a big way last year, snapping up joint control of the country’s second biggest oil producer, Pan American Energy, in the biggest deal Argentina has seen in a decade. It also grabbed the local unit of Occidental.

Beijing also agreed to back railway projects in Argentina to the tune of $12bn. China’s other interests in Argentina include iron ore, gold, soya, fertiliser and electronics. While Argentina’s heterodox policies have put many investors on the back foot, China has made Argentina its third-biggest investment destination.

Could that investment appetite now extend to banking?

ICBC, China’s biggest bank by market capitalisation and already the holder of a 20 per cent stake in the South Africa’s Standard Bank, is sniffing around at the possibility of buying the bank’s Argentine unit, according to media reports (see here and here).

The bank used the slogan “Moving Forward” as part of its advertising campaign as the official sponsor of the Argentine soccer team, but has said nothing publicly about any plans to move on itself. (continue reading… )



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