China should consider more Wall Street buys - banker

martes 23 de septiembre de 2008 12:26 CEST

BEIJING, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Chinese financial institutions should look for the right chance to take further stakes in struggling Wall Street banks to beef up China's global presence, a senior banker said on Tuesday.

Investments in recent years by Chinese banks in U.S. financial firms including Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Cotización) and private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX.N: Cotización) have fallen in value as turmoil on global markets has taken it toll.

But Tang Shuangning, chairman of mid-sized Everbright Bank, said Chinese banks should be on the look-out for further investments in the U.S. financial sector.

"The crisis might reduce the influence of the United States in the global market, while China's voice will grow," Tang, a former vice-chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, told a financial forum. "We should jump at good opportunities when they emerge to find a way into Wall Street."

The U.S. Treasury has proposed a $700 billion bailout plan to staunch a crisis that has forced investment bank Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch MER.N into the arms of Bank of America (BAC.N: Cotización).

Other banks are racing to raise extra capital.

China's capital controls and the overwhelmingly domestic focus of its banks have largely insulated the country from the immediate fallout of the turmoil on Wall Street.

However, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular briefing that Chinese financial regulators would beef up checks to reduce potential risks and would increase contacts with their opposite numbers in the United States.

Fitch Ratings warned on Monday that strains were emerging in the Chinese banking sector despite strong interim profits.   Continuación...