Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China's biggest lender, was granted a green-light from U.S. regulators to establish a branch in New York, the bank said Tuesday.
A branch in New York will give the bank, known as ICBC, a long-awaited foothold in the world's largest financial market, as well as a platform to step up its overseas expansion.
ICBC, the world's largest bank in terms of market capitalization, expects to use the new branch "to accelerate its global operating strategy" and "upgrade the competitiveness and influence of China's financial industry in global financial markets," the bank said.
Last September, the bank acquired a 90% stake of PT Bank Halim Indonesia, marking its first overseas purchase.
ICBC's market cap overtook Citigroup Inc.'s last July after a dramatic surge in the value of its shares listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong, making it the largest bank in the world.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has a 5.75% stake in the Chinese bank, Allianz SE (AZ) has 2.5%, and American Express Co. has 0.45%.
It expects to open up the branch as soon as possible to facilitate businesses including trade finance, syndicated loans and money remittance.
The Chinese bank said its first-half net profit is expected to have risen 50% on a year-on-year basis, as a result of strong growth in interest income and fee and commission businesses. ICBC posted a net profit of 40.844 billion yuan in the first half last year.
The bank received the approval from the Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday, making it the fifth Chinese bank that has been allowed to set up branches in the U.S.