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China’s Bank of Communications to acquire 80 pct stake in Brazil’s BBM bank

Updated: May 20,2015 5:21 PM     Xinhua

BRASILIA — China’s Bank of Communications (BoCom) announced its decision on May 19 to acquire an 80 percent stake in the Brazilian bank BBM.

The announcement was made during Premier Li Keqiang’s official visit to Brazil.

According to the agreement BoCom reached with BBM in Brasilia on May 19, the Chinese bank will pay 525 million reais ($173 million) for the majority share. The deal is subject to approvals of both nations’ regulatory bodies.

In the statement, BoCom celebrated its first international acquisition and stressed the importance of Brazil-China ties, noting that China has been Brazil’s biggest trade partner since 2009.

“The acquisition of the BBM bank will be Bank of Communications’ first purchase abroad. It also marks the first step in the bank’s expansion plans in Latin America and a milestone in the bank’s internationalization,” Niu Ximing, president of BoCom, told Xinhua.

“This acquisition will bridge the economic and financial cooperation between Brazil and China, and boost bilateral investment and trade,” Niu said.

Founded in 1858, BBM is one of Brazil’s oldest financial institutions, focusing on corporate lending and private banking. Shareholders with 18-percent stakes in BBM will have the option to hold on to their shares or sell to Bank of Communications.

BoCom, founded in 1908, is one of China’s largest banks.

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