South African bank in talks with ICBC

Updated: 2013-07-31 17:31

By WU YIYAO in Shanghai (

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South Africa's Standard Bank is in talks to sell its London commodity trading business to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Reuters reported on Tuesday citing a source familiar with the matter.

ICBC, the biggest shareholder in Standard Bank, owns about 20 percent of the Johannesburg-based lender.

Wang Zhenning, a spokesman for ICBC, declined to comment on the report when interviewed by China Daily on Wednesday.

A spokesman for Standard Bank said in a statement the two lenders were "jointly exploring areas of greater cooperation, including global markets and commodities", Reuters said on Tuesday.

Standard Bank in 2012 completed the sale of 80 percent of its Argentina business to ICBC.

The deal over London commodity trading business would mark the latest move by Africa's top bank to hive off businesses outside the continent as it focuses on building its presence in fast-growing sub-Saharan markets, the Reuters report said.