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ICBC optimistic about 2009 profit growth

Apr. 17, 2009 (China Knowledge) - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)<601398><1398>, the world's largest lender by market value, is confident it will maintain its profit growth this year, despite the global financial crisis, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing Jiang Jianqing, chairman of ICBC.

Although the lender will still face pressure from global financial conditions, the improving Chinese economy will bring development opportunities, said Jiang.

Jiang also said that ICBC will focus its overseas merger and acquisitions on strategic holding, especially in emerging countries.

In the first quarter of this year, the Chinese bank's new lending hit a record high of RMB 647.5 billion. In contrast, the new loans for all of 2008 amounted to RMB 536.7 billion 2008.

ICBC's customer deposits reached RMB 8.9 trillion (US$1.3 trillion) at the end of March, 2009, far exceeding those of its global counterparts, according to an earlier report from China Knowledge.

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