January 23, 2013 (Brazil time) - ICBC announced its new branch, the Industrial and Commercial Bank (Brazil) Limited ("ICBC Brazil"), in Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil. Earlier ICBC received a banking license granted by the Central Bank of Brazil for a branch in Brazil. Establishment of the Brazil Branch is another major breakthrough of ICBC in South America after entering the Peruvian and Argentinian markets. The branch network in South America at this stage enables ICBC to better serve customers around the world.
Speaking on the ceremony to inaugurate the branch, Senior Executive Vice President Zhang Hongli said, the booming bilateral trades between China and Brazil since the establishment of diplomatic relationship four decades ago has posed higher requirements for banks from the two countries to cooperate. ICBC Brazil will act as a bridge in facilitating trade and investment and a new platform serving financial cooperation between the two countries. A full spectrum of excellent financial services will be provided to Chinese and Brazilian companies as well as individuals. Meanwhile, ICBC's three branches in South America will work as a team to provide more financial services to the customers in this region.
Brazil is the world's sixth largest economy and a main member of five BRICS countries. Resource-rich Brazil possesses a preferable geographical location. The government of Brazil creates a favorable environment for business to attract foreign investment. With the strong momentum in economic development during the last few years, Brazil is now one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. China and Brazil are very complementary to each other in economy, marked by the fast trade and economic ties during the past few years. For three successive years China is Brazil's largest trade partner and largest export destination country. China also becomes the second largest supplier of goods to Brazil, while Brazil is China's largest trade partner among the five members of BRICS countries. Demand of financial services is driven by the strong growth of bilateral investment between the two countries.
ICBC is the largest commercial bank in China, also the world's largest listed bank by market value, customer deposit and brand value. The Bank has a solid customer base, offering a wide range of competitive services backed by strong innovation. As a commercial bank with a presence in different markets across the world ICBC provides a wide range of financial products and services to over 4.4 million corporate clients and 300 million individual customers through nearly 17,000 outlets in China, nearly 400 branches outside China and a global network of more than 1,600 correspondent banks as well as its Online Banking, Telephone Banking and Self-service Banking. ICBC holds leading position in domestic market in most of the commercial banking businesses. To cope with the globalization of customers and market, ICBC escalates its global footprint over the past few years and sets up a network of some 400 overseas branches in 39 countries/territories with full licences. This global service platform, together with a presence in Africa through holding a 20% stake in the Standard Bank of South Africa, covers all the major international financial centers and China's trading regions with well-defined hierarchy, reasonable positioning, diversified channels and efficient operation. Since 2006, ICBC is the first Chinese bank to launch FOVA, an integrated business processing system with an array of functions covering deposit, loan, remittance, bank card, online banking, international settlement, trade finance and global market operation. At present, FOVA has been installed in all ICBC overseas branches for business processing, risk management and information sharing, forming a global unified platform to serve customers worldwide.