China's largest bank opens Houston office

By May Zhou in Houston | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-10-12 10:33

China's largest bank opens Houston office

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner shakes hands with Hu Hao, ICBC senior executive vice-president, as he welcomes ICBC's first office in Houston on Tuesday. MAY ZHOU / CHINA DAILY

Amid an ice sculpture of the company logo and indoor fireworks, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China's largest bank, opened its first bank in Houston on Tuesday.

ICBC is the first Chinese bank in Houston, the US' fourth largest city, and in the southern US.

The Houston office is another addition for ICBC to the branches and offices it has in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle. Globally, ICBC has established institutions in 44 countries and regions and it indirectly covers 20 African countries as a shareholder of Standard Bank Group.

Texas is home to more than 100 Chinese enterprises, and more than $7 billion has been invested by Chinese companies in the state since 2000. The ICBC Houston business center will provide corporate lending, real estate lending, cash management and credit-card financial services.

"As the first Chinese bank in Houston, ICBC will not only focus on Houston, but also serve the Texas market. ICBC plans to further localize our service, and increase cooperation with local financial institutions. We aim to bring comprehensive, high-quality and professional financial services to corporate and individual clients," said Hu Hao, ICBC senior executive vice-president.

He said that ICBC always looks at the US as one of the key strategic markets for its overseas development and first established ICBC's New York representative office in 1997.

"With total assets of $69.3 billion, the institutions have contributed to local communities by creating more than 500 jobs and paying a total of $312 million in taxes in the past decade, including more than $100 million in 2016 alone," said Hu.

ICBC's presence was welcomed by more than 100 local business and political leaders, including Consul General of China Li Qiangmin, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, state Representative Gene Wu and Greater Houston Partnership President Bob Harvey.

"As the mayor of the city, I want to thank you for opening an office in Houston. Being the largest bank in the world, it's no question that ICBC has significant impact around the globe.

"You have come to a city still relatively young and developing. As the largest bank in the world, you have come to Houston, which represents the future of the US," said Turner, who also proclaimed Tuesday "ICBC Day" and presented the proclamation to Hu.

Turner said Houston is working to forge closer relationships with China.

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