Beijing - A major, but unidentified Chinese bank is in talks to buy a stake in South Africa\'s second-largest lender First National Bank, the state-controlled China Daily newspaper reported Friday.
If carried out, the transaction will follow in the footsteps of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation\'s top lender, which recently agreed to buy a 20 percent stake in South Africa\'s Standard Bank.
\"The bank, a state-owned one, has been negotiating with FNB for a long time, but it\'s unlikely to take a stake as high as ICBC\'s in Standard Bank,\" an unnamed person told the China Daily.
ICBC\'s purchase of the stake in Standard Bank was the largest ever Chinese acquisition in the financial field, at $5.5 billion.
Chinese banks and other enterprises have been more aggressive buyers of overseas assets in recent years, helped partly by a strengthening of the Chinese currency since it was de-pegged from the US dollar in mid-2005. - Sapa-AFP/Busrep