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ICBC dethrones Goldman as the mosts profitable financial institution

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gold March 26, 2010 (Chinavestor) There wasn't much fanfare about it but the fact is that net income of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HKG:1398) (SHA:601398), the largest financial institution of the world, surpassed even that of Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) in 2009. China's largest lender reported 2009 annual report today, highlighting the fact that Chinese banks weathered the global financial crisis relatively unharmed while their western counterparts suffered dearly in 2007-2008. Profits of Bank of China (HKG:3988) (SHA:601988) surpasses that of Wells Fargo (WFC) in 2009 as well.

 

bank_profits_2009

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (known as ICBC) lent a record $161 billion in 2009 and needs to replenish some of its capital. This might explain a lackluster +0.6% advance in Hong Kong this morning following earnings release. Nevertheless Chinese financial institutions remain increasingly profitable.

While none of these Chinese financial institutions trade directly on the NYSE or NASDAQ, American investors can get a quasi exposure to Chinese financial institutions via the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (ETF) (NYSE:FXI). The exchange traded fund is a financial overweight as the following portfolio allocation chart testifies.

iShares FTSE/Xinhua 25 Index (NYSE:FXI) Portfolio Allocation as of 1/31/2009

FXI_allocation


For additional coverage about the FXI, read: The right way to invest in China - iShares FTSE/Xinhua 25 Index (NYSE:FXI).



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