Commonwealth determined to pursue China options

Commonwealth Bank chief executive David Murray said Asia would be central to the bank's international growth strategy. Murray said that “fantastic opportunities” exist as China and India in particular, and said that “China has demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that it intends to run a market economy.” Murray said CBA preferred to take small stakes in smaller banks, such as its 11 per cent stake worth $20 million in Jinan City Commercial Bank. He said CBA was “hesitant” to invest in larger banks because the Chinese government wanted to retain “significant control” of those institutions. “Our view is to have a small investment, which can grow very rapidly.” CBA is also in discussions about an investment in a second “city commercial bank” in Hangzhou. Some institutional investors in Australia don’t want CBA to make any investments in China.

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