Chinese state-owned bank buys 72 per cent of Brazilian bank for $725 million

BEIJING, China – A Chinese bank has agreed to buy 72 per cent of a Brazilian midsize commercial lender for $725 million, expanding the Latin American foothold of China’s state-owned banking industry.

China Construction Bank Ltd. and Banco Industrial e Commercial SA said Friday the Chinese institution will acquire a controlling stake from Brazil’s family-owned Bezerra de Menezes Financial Group.

The deal adds to China’s gradual commercial expansion into Latin America, where state-owned Chinese oil companies already have extensive ties.

Beijing is a major customer for Brazilian iron ore, soybeans and other commodities.