The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Banking

Foreign banks’ retreat prompts rethink of their China influence

When Bank of America (BofA) sold a 3.18% stake in China Construction Bank (CCB) to Chinese private equity firm Hopu Investment Management last year, the US financial services group did more than pick up a handy $4 billion at the height of the global recession.

It also marked the latest and somewhat bizarre retrenchment from China by a leading financial services group. Not so long ago, foreign lenders were jostling frantically to gain a toehold in the world’s fastest-growing (but still largely isolated) big banking market. They lobbied their governments for access to China’s 800 million savers, grouching when denied entrance and jumping for joy when the door creaked ajar. Yet now, it seemed, they couldn’t get out quickly enough.

BofA’s stake sale in May 2009 followed hard on the heels of a welter of foreign divestments. Troubled RBS Group sold its 4.26% stake in Bank of China (BOC) in January 2009. Later the same year, key investors in the country’s largest lender, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) – Goldman Sachs, American Express, Germany’s Allianz, and a charitable foundation headed by Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-shing – took advantage of record-high China banking stocks to sell their stakes.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree