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Chinese Bank Boosts Overseas Assets

THE Industrial and Commercial Bank of China said its overseas assets increased by 15 percent last year as the lender curbed losses tied to the global financial crisis.

Overseas units and branches had "limited" direct losses from the credit crisis that toppled Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc as they didn't invest in United States subprime mortgage-backed securities, the Beijing-based bank said yesterday.

International settlements surpassed US$750 billion for the first time last year, while trade finance loans topped US$50 billion, Bloomberg News reported.

Dubai-based ICBC (Middle East) Ltd, the first wholly owned unit set up in the Middle East by a Chinese bank, posted a profit for last year, the statement said, without being specific. The unit was set up on October 20.


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