Bank of China buys stake in France's Rothschild

HONG KONG -- Bank of China will take a 20% stake in France's La Cie. Financiere Edmond de Rothschild, as part of a businesses cooperation plan that will see the two banks expand offerings into each other's respective markets.

Bank of China will pay 263.3 million euros ($377.9 million) for the stake, the bank said in a filing with Hong Kong security regulators late Thursday.

"Both parties have agreed to focus on areas of asset management, private banking and custody services, and jointly expand into mutually interested markets," the Bank of China said in the filing.

The deal marks the first strategic investment by a Chinese bank in a European bank, the Wall Street Journal reported

The deal will help Edmond de Rothschild expand internationally by furthering its access to investors in China. LCFR is a unit of LDF Rothschild Group, which has about 100 billion euros under management. LCFR manages about a third of that amount.

Bank of China's group executive vice president Zhu Min was cited in wire reports as saying the deal would help it channel Chinese funds into France and Europe.
Bank of China is the world's fifth biggest by market value.


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