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ICBC to buy stake in Taiwan's SinoPac

BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest lender by market value, announced on Tuesday that it plans to acquire 20 percent of Bank SinoPac in the first mainland investment in Taiwan's banking sector.

In a statement on its website, the ICBC said it has reached an agreement with SinoPac Holdings for its banking unit.

The deal is still subject to regulatory approval in the mainland and Taiwan.

The benchmark consideration for the stake acquisition will be around 18.7 billion new Taiwan dollars (about 625 million U.S. dollars) based on the calculation of the net asset value at the end of June last year, the ICBC said.

After winning necessary regulatory approval, the price of the deal will be adjusted to reflect the actual condition of the targeted assets, the ICBC said.

The announcement came a day after the financial regulator in Taiwan said it will ease rules to allow banks from the Chinese mainland to buy a maximum 20 percent of stakes in Taiwan banks.

The ICBC has established an agency relationship with 39 banks in Taiwan, with interbank settlement business amounting to 70.3 billion U.S. dollars last year, according to the ICBC.