La revolución bancaria de China

Uno de los grandes retos a los que se tiene que enfrentar China antes de que entre en vigor el tratado de la OMC en 2007 es preparar al sistema bancario del país para la privatización y la competencia con bancos extranjeros. El gobierno ha establecido una nueva dependencia, la Compañía Central de Inversiones Hujin para administrar y recapitalizar los grandes bancos propiedad del Estado antes de que sean vendidos. Hujin ya ha inyectado 60 mil millones de dólares de las reservas internacionales del país al Banco de China, el Banco de Construcción de China y el Banco Industrial y Comercial. El Banco Agrícola también recibirá capital nuevo, aunque el gobierno todavía no lo está preparando para una privatización.

Las políticas de rescate del gobierno parecen estar funcionando. En los últimos dos meses, el Bank of America anunció una inversión de 2.5 mil millones de dólares a cambio de una participación del 9% en el Banco de Construcción de China, y Temasek, el holding basado en Singapur, pagó 1.4 mil millones de dólares para adquirir una participación del 5.1% en el Banco de China. El Royal Bank of Scotland encabeza un grupo que invertirá 3.1 mil millones de dólares más en el Banco de China, mientras que Goldman Sachs y Allianz de Alemania están cerca de llegar a un acuerdo para adquirir una participación del 9.9% en el Banco Industrial y Comercial por una suma similar.

El gobierno espera que estas inversiones extranjeras preparen el terreno para que los bancos coticen en los mercados de valores de Hong Kong y otros lugares durante 2006, mientras que los bancos extranjeros están invirtiendo con el fin de penetrar el enorme mercado chino. Los tres grandes bancos propiedad del Estado tienen grandes redes de sucursales y emplean a cientos de miles de personas. Los bancos extranjeros jamás podrían esperar lograr una cobertura tan completa sin un socio local. Se concentrarán inicialmente en sectores como las tarjetas de crédito pero podrían desarrollar otras empresas conjuntas. HSBC también anunció una inversión importante en Ping An Insurance, que podría preparar el terreno para experimentos con Bancassurance en el futuro.

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