Chinese bank wants to enter European and African markets through Portugal

20 September 2007

Macau, China, 20 Sept – The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is to use the office of the Seng Heng bank in Portugal to enter the European and African markets, casino magnate Stanley Ho told Portuguese news agency Lusa in Macau Thursday.

At the end of August, the ICBC, China’s largest bank by assets, announced the acquisition of 79.93 percent of the Seng Heng bank, which was 70-percent owned by Ho’s company, Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM), and 9.93 percent by Petrick Huen Wing-ming, teh bank’s executive director.

“I sold the Seng Heng because the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is very interested in having a presence in the Portuguese market and the agreement includes our office in Portugal, which will be used as a platform to negotiate in Portugal and in African countries and Brazil,” Ho said, adding that “business is business” and the offer from the ICBC was very good.

The Seng Heng office in Lisbon opened in mid 2006 during the second official visit by the head of the Macau government, Edmund Ho to Portugal and there are plans for the bank to start operating in the Portuguese retail banking market.

Ho has several economic interests throughout the world, including the African market via his company Geocapital but, he only has his name linked to a company that is managed by Jorge Ferro Ribeiro and Almeida Santos.

“I support Geocapital because it will bring benefits not only to Portugal but to the Chinese mainland,” he told Lusa. (macauhub)