China Bank Regulator Approves ICBC's Standard Stake

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's banking regulator has approved Industrial and Commercial Bank of China's 1398.HK acquisition of a 20 percent stake in South Africa's Standard Bank SKBJ.J, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

ICBC, China’s largest bank, agreed in October to pay $5.6 billion for the slice of Standard Bank, which at the time was the biggest overseas investment by a Chinese firm as well as the biggest foreign investment in Africa.

Shareholders of both banks and South African regulators have already approved the deal.

ICBC said applications for approval have been submitted to regulators in countries where Standard Bank has overseas branches, Xinhua reported.

Reporting by Simon Rabinovitch, editing by Jacqueline Wong