ING to take up to 19.9% of Beijing Bank
BEIJING: Dutch group ING said on Friday it would take a stake of up to 19.9 percent of Bank of Beijing for about 1.78 billion yuan ($215.1 million), the latest investment by foreigners eyeing China’s fast-growing but fragile banking sector.
The International Finance Corp., the World Bank’s private equity arm, would join ING by taking a 5 percent stake in the Beijing lender for 447 million yuan ($54 million), banking officials said.
“We believe there is large growth potential for retail banking in China and in Beijing in particular,” ING Chairman Michel Tilmant was quoted as saying in a statement.
ING would have two seats on the Chinese lender’s board, the bank said.
Bank of Beijing was the second-largest city commercial bank in China and the third-largest bank in Beijing and had 3,600 employees, ING said.
“This investment will allow ING to deepen its penetration into the Beijing market and provide us with a platform to sell a range of insurance and investment products to an increasingly affluent customer base.”
China allows a single foreign investor to own no more than 20 percent of a Chinese bank’s shares. Combined foreign investment is capped at 25 percent.
ING Group already has an insurance joint venture with Beijing Capital Group and an asset management joint venture with China Merchants Securities offering a range of bond, cash and equity funds to Chinese investors.
ING Group also operated in Beijing through a representative office, serving corporate clients, it said. —Reuters