BofA selling Asia operations

TEXT OF STORY

LISA NAPOLI: The Bank of America is going to make over a billion dollars to bail out of some of its business in Hong Kong and Macao. The Construction Bank of China is the buyer. Marketplace's Jocelyn Ford explains why they're happy to pony up the cash.


JOCELYN FORD: The China Construction Bank is China's third largest lender and it has big ambitions.

Bank analyst Lydia Lin:

LYDIA LIN: "They want to become one of the best bank in the world."

But, she says, the bank needs to get a few how-to lessons.

Lydia Lin says the State-controlled bank still needs to learn the ropes of operating in the free market, like how to figure out who is a risky borrower.

LIN:"For higher risk borrowers, they should charge higher prices but they just feel they don't have this technique or they don't know how to control this risk.

Acquiring Bank of America's 17 branches in Hong Kong and Macao is like enrolling in on-the-job training.

The Bank of America plans to leave the retail market in Asia because it didn't have much market share.

It mostly served small businesses and individuals, but the leading US bank will continue to serve corporations in Asia.

In Beijing, I'm Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

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