DEALTALK-Foreign banks again hear the call of China

martes 2 de febrero de 2010 08:14 CET

* Smaller banks seen accelerating China expansion

* Local incorporation more meaningful way to grow

* City commercial banks likely investment targets (For other Reuters Dealtalks, click [DEALTALK/])

By Michael Wei and Alan Wheatley

BEIJING, Feb 2 (Reuters) - A clutch of Western banks that have escaped the worst of the financial crisis are seizing the opportunity to ramp up their presence in China in the hope of profiting from the sector's rapid growth.

In the wake of the worst global recession in 80 years, major banks have reined in their international ambitions to strengthen their balance sheets. Bank of America (BAC.N: Cotización) and ING ING.AS are among those that have pulled in their horns in China.

But heeding the maxim that a serious crisis should never go to waste, some other players are scrambling to build on strong positions in their home markets and speed up their expansion in China.

"It is set to become a trend that dominant Western banks from the United Kingdom or the United States will have to focus on domestic issues for a relatively long time to come," said May Yan, an analyst with Nomura International.

"And this will lead to second-tier, regional banks rushing to China, hoping to expand business," she said.   Continuación...