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StanChart takes 19.9% stake in Bohai Bank
By Su Bei (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-07 05:45

Asia-focused British bank Standard Chartered will invest about US$123 million to buy a 19.99 per cent interest in Bohai Bank, which is to be based in North China's Tianjin Municipality.

The British bank signed the Promoters Agreement witnessed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his visiting UK counterpart Tony Blair - in Beijing yesterday.

The agreement marks the lender's first investment on the Chinese mainland; and is close to the maximum limit of 20 per cent a single foreign investor can hold in a domestic bank.

As Bohai Bank's sole foreign strategic investor, the lender will make use of its strong global resources and innovative product capacities to ensure the success of the new bank, said Bryan Sanderson, chairman of Standard Chartered.

"We will leverage our international banking experience to assist Bohai Bank in many areas, including product development, risk management and governance," he said.

Standard Chartered's headquarters is in London but its key operations are in Asia, where it makes more than three quarters of its profit, Africa and the Middle East.

Bohai Bank is the first national joint-stock commercial bank to be set up in China since 1996; and also the first national joint-stock bank headquartered in Tianjin.

The bank was established using a "promoter" model, whereby domestic and foreign promoters subscribe for shares in cash.

The initial capital of the bank is 5 billion yuan (US$616.5 million).
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