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Major Chinese bank eyeing $15.8bn European bank deal

China's second-largest bank by assets is considering getting more heavily involved in the European financial market in the near future.

During an interview with the Financial Times, China Construction Bank's (CCB) chairman Wang Hongzhang has indicated that his company is willing to spend up to 100 billion yuan ($15.8 billion) on a deal on the continent.

Traditionally, financiers based in the Asian superpower have focused mainly on their domestic industry rather than making investments in the international banking arena as the Chinese market has proved resilient to the global economic crisis.

However, this trend looks set to reverse in the near future as China's banks look to expand their position among the world's leading lenders, with CCB seemingly ready to make the first move by acquiring a financer that meets its international development strategy.

"Some of the banks in Europe have been put up for sale. Now we are looking for the right choice," Mr Wang observed.

By Claire Archer