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PEOPLE: CCB Eyes LatAm

Jul 1, 2009

China Construction Bank (CCB) is assessing the potential in Latin America as a possible second phase of its Americas buildout, raising the prospect of substantial fresh capital flows to the region. Though no decision has yet been made on coverage of the region it appears a likely eventual next step, starting with Brazil. “Head office is in the process of evaluating the LatAm strategy and undergoing a feasibility study,” John Weinshank, CCB’s New York branch head of trade finance and corporate banking, tells LatinFinance.

Weinshank would not be drawn on how much balance sheet will be deployed in the Americas, specific plans for setting up LatAm offices, or how the bank would operate in the region. “For the first year we plan to be modest and conservative,” says the former SMBC structured trade commodity finance banker, who was appointed in March, has LatAm experience and speaks Spanish. “I would encourage Latin American companies to begin the conversations with us now,” says Weinshank. “It’s important to gain mutual understanding between China and the Latin American region.”

State-owned CCB has had a two-person New York rep office for about 12 years. Earlier this year, CCB got a US banking license and expects to employ 20-30 people by the end of 2009. The New York branch appears geared towards tapping into the growing flow of raw...

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