Three Chinese banks in world’s top four: study

PARIS, April 30, 2008 (AFP) – Three Chinese institutions were among the world’s top four banks at the end of 2007 at a time when the market capitalisation of Western banks was suffering from a global financial crisis, a study showed Wednesday. The number one spot in the rankings, compiled by the Boston Consulting Group, was occupied by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, with market capitalisation of nearly 340 billion dollars (218 billion euoros).

In second place was China Construction Bank, followed by HSBC of Britain, Bank of China, Bank of America and Citigroup of the United States.

The study found that banks in North America and Western Europe had suffered a loss of 695 billion dollars in market capitalisation at the end of 2007 while their counterparts in emerging market countries Brazil, Russia, China and India had seen their market capitalisation increase by 753 billion dollars.

Major US and European banks have suffered losses and asset writedowns stemming from the near collapse of US subprime — high risk — mortgage sector, which undermined the value of billions of dollars’ worth of their mortgage-backed securities. .