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ICBC names new president

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-23 09:39

BEIJING - China's biggest commercial lender, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, announced Wednesday that its vice president, Yi Huiman, will replace Yang Kaisheng as president.

Yi, 49, joined the bank in 1985 and worked at branches in Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Beijing before being nominated as vice president in 2008.

Yi has impressed his colleagues being "down-to-earth and low-key," an anonymous source told Xinhua.

A date has not yet been announced when Yi will take up his new role.

Yang, 64, will leave his post as president after almost eight years. During his tenure, the lender was listed.

The new president faces challenges to lead the bank, which has 18 trillion yuan ($2.91 trillion) of assets.

Facing circumstances of accelerated interest marketization and downward pressure for the Chinese economy, banks can no longer capitalize hugely on margins in interest rates.

In its 2012 annual report, however, net income from interest grew 15.2 percent year on year, while the proceeds from non-interest business climbed 5.9 percent, indicating profits from interest still took a lion share of the bank's total revenues.

At the same time, the year-on-year growth rate of the lender's net profits slowed to 14.5 percent in 2012 from 25.6 percent in 2011.

ICBC has been a pioneer in business scale and service standards, and will retain its prudent style after Yi takes his post, said Guo Tianyong, a professor at the Central University of Finance and Economics.

Shares of ICBC dropped 0.95 percent to 4.16 yuan per share in Shanghai, but went up 0.81 percent to 5.53 yuan per share in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Temasek Holdings boosted its stake in ICBC from 6.71 to 7.04 percent on Tuesday in Hong Kong, following on the same day Goldman Sachs Group Inc's sale of its remaining $1.1 billion of Hong Kong-traded ICBC shares, according to Reuters.

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