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China could make big bank acquisition in Europe

This picture taken on August 17, 2012 shows a Chinese bank staff member counting stacks of 100-yuan notes at a bank in Huaibei, east China's Anhui province.

China is about to make its biggest ever bank acquisition abroad, according to the Financial Times. It says China could spend as much as $15 billion buying a bank in Europe.

China's biggest banking acquisition to date is their 20 percent stake in South Africa's Standard Bank. In Europe, however, they've been more focused on sectors outside of banking -- buying a Norwegian high-tech company and part of the French tourism company Club Med, to name a few.

There's one estimate, says Marketplace's Stephen Beard, that by 2020, Chinese companies could own half a trillion dollars worth of European assets.

And while there tends to be anxiety here in the U.S. about Chinese companies increasing their holdings here. But according to Daniel Gross of the Centre for European Policy Studies, there's less of that anxiety in Europe.

"In Europe, there's much less concern about strategic and military issues, and therefore overall, there's a weary welcome for any foreign investment," he says. "A little bit of weary, but a welcome nonetheless."

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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