Jurisdiction - China
China – White & Case Advises ICBC to Become the First Mainland Chinese Bank to Acquire a Controlling Stake in a US Bank.

11 May, 2012



Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) on its acquisition of an 80% interest in The Bank of East Asia (USA) National Association (BEA-USA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of East Asia Limited. The Firm also advised Bank of China on its application to set up an additional branch in Chicago. 
The Federal Reserve approved both applications this week on Wednesday May 9, 2012, alongside a third application allowing Agricultural Bank of China to establish its initial branch in New York.
The approvals followed closely on the heels of the close of the fourth meeting of the US China Strategic and Economic Dialog held in Beijing last week where the parties announced measures to open trade between the US and China. The statement issued at the close of the Dialog stated:
The United States welcomes foreign investment in all sectors, including the financial sector, and remains committed to apply the same prudential and regulatory standards to applications made by Chinese banks, securities, and fund management companies as they apply to other foreign financial institutions in like circumstances. Pending applications by Chinese banks are under active review and consideration and authorities will endeavor to act expeditiously.
“The ICBC approval positions the bank to provide financial services to middle and small size firms and individuals. ICBC will become the first mainland Chinese bank to acquire a controlling stake in a US bank,” says White & Case Partner Ernie Patrikis, who represented ICBC and the Bank of China in their application process along with Partners Francis Zou, John Reiss and Steve Teichman. “In approving the Bank of China application to establish a branch in Chicago, the Fed is showing its willingness to have Chinese banks offer wholesale financial services more widely in the United States.”
“A signal has been sent that the US banking market is continuing to open up for branching and acquisitions and other equity investments by mainland Chinese banks in particular and international banks in general,” Patrikis adds. “Chinese banks have sufficient market capitalizations and liquidity to bolster bank finance in US financial markets.”
For further information, please contact:
Susan Byrnes, White & Case LLP



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