ICBC aiming to branch out into EMEA loan market

By Michael Turner
31 Jan 2014

The rise of Chinese banks in the EMEA loan market seems to be inevitable. Regulatory changes will allow Chinese subsidiaries to apply for branch status in the UK, opening up the vast balance sheets of parent banks for the first time. Loans bankers at western houses have been keeping a close watch on these sleeping dragons, which this week made their intentions outside of China clear when Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) entered into an agreement to buy Standard Bank’s UK arm (see separate story). But this isn't the first move that the Chinese behemoth has made to expand in Europe. Last April, Benny Zachariah was hired to ICBC London with the task of setting up the bank’s loan sales and syndication desk. He talks to EuroWeek’s Michael Turner about the bank’s ambitions.

EuroWeek: How did ICBC see syndicated loans when you joined earlier this year, and how does the bank view syndicated loans now?

The bank was doing syndicated loans previously, mostly as a participant and every now and again as a bookrunner, but that was run on a desk ...

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