On January 28, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) completed its acquisition of Seng Heng Bank (SHB) in Macao which will see ICBC pay 4.68 billion patacas (590 million U.S. dollars) to buy a 79.93-percent stake in SHB, according to a joint press release from the two banks.
"The purchase of SHB shares constitutes an important strategic move for ICBC ... which helps elevate the bank to the leading position in Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai economic zone as well as in the regional and international banking arena," said Jiang Jianqing, ICBC Chairman, at the closing ceremony of the acquisition.
Early on August 2007, ICBC has entered a sales and purchase agreement with STDM (Socideade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macao), SHB's holding company, and Vice Chairman of SHB Patrick Huen
Founded in 1972, Seng Heng Bank is Macao's third largest commercial bank in terms of total assets. Statistics showed that by the end of 2006, the Macao lender's assets totaled 25.39 billion patacas (3.17 billion U.S. dollars).
"This is the first time for a Macao bank to be merged by a transnational one ever since the handover, which demonstrated the internationalization of Macao's financial industry as well as being a platform for companies from the Chinese mainland seeking overseas investment," noted Stanley Ho, Managing Director of STDM.
The acquisition of SHB was just part of ICBC's effort to make its first foray into the international financial market. Last year, ICBC purchased 20 percent equities in South African Standard Bank Group at the cost of 5.46 billion U.S. dollars and announced the establishment of subsidiaries in Moscow, Jakarta and Indonesia.
(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2008)