According to a report in the Financial Times, China Construction Bank (CCB), the second-ranked Chinese bank by assets after Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, could spend as much as $15bn on a deal, according to Wang Hongzhang, the group's chairman.
"Some of the banks in Europe have been put up for sale," Wang told the Financial Times in an interview. "Now we are looking for the right choice." He said CCB had Rmb100bn ($15.8bn) of capital available to acquire a whole bank or, at a minimum, to buy a stake of 30-50% in a larger entity.
Wang, would not be drawn on individual names, the newspaper adds, but said an investment in the UK, Germany or France would be most attractive. As well, he indicated that any acquisition would have to have a reasonable international presence, rather than just a single-country domestic focus. An internationally minded acquisition target would pose fewer "cultural challenges", he is reported to have said.
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The FT also mentions in passing how analysts believe part nationalised lenders could make for appealing targets, referring to RBS (market cap: £17bn) and Commerzbank specifically (market cap: €9bn).
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