The chairman of the China Construction Bank says he is on the hunt for a European bank to boost the group's overseas portfolio. He has nearly $16bn to spend and claims to be in the process of ‘looking for the right choice'.
The prevailing view in Europe remains that the banks have, as yet, unquantified and possibly unquantifiable problems. Does this interest from abroad suggest that Eurozone investors are misreading the situation?
The China Construction Bank is the second largest Chinese bank by assets (after the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China). To date, it has forged deals in South America, North America and Southeast Asia, but none in Europe. Wang Hongzhang says that the group is now ready to deal:
"Some of the banks in Europe have been put up for sale," Mr Wang told the Financial Times in an interview. "Now we are looking for the right choice." He said CCB had Rmb100bn ($15.8bn) of capital available to acquire a whole bank or, at a minimum, to buy a stake of 30-50 per cent in a larger entity."