Awards for Excellence 2009: China
Best Bank: China Construction Bank
China’s banks have had a good crisis, with the main threat to their success coming from a need to diversify their revenues away from interest margin rather than from the huge losses on investments that have bedevilled financial institutions elsewhere. Deciding which of China’s banks is strongest is difficult. Last year’s winner of this award, ICBC, is still in good shape; while CMB, arguably the strongest among its peers in generating fee income over the past couple of years, loses out on suspicion it overpaid for its acquisition of Wing Lung Bank in Hong Kong and because analysts think its strong recent performance has peaked. China Construction Bank, however, has been a consistent if less adventurous performer over the past 12 months and is a deserving winner.