Wells Fargo deposes China’s ICBC as world’s biggest bank


SHANGHAI—The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, a symbol of the country’s financial might, has been deposed as the world’s largest bank by market capitalization, data showed Wednesday.

ICBC’s six-year reign as the world’s biggest bank began in July 2007, and its value peaked at $374 billion in November that year thanks to China’s rapid economic expansion.

But Wells Fargo & Co. of the United States is now worth $236 billion, according to the New York Stock Exchange, where it is listed, while Chinese figures show ICBC’s value has fallen to around $223 billion.

“As the US economy recovered after the crisis, the rebound of the real estate sector supported the recovery of Wells Fargo,” said Lu Zhengwei, an economist with the Industrial Bank, which has no connection to ICBC.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo has retained the top spot since taking it over on July 12.

The bank is the biggest retail mortgage lender in the United States, with 9,000 branches and 270,000 employees worldwide.

The shift comes at a time when China, the world’s second largest economy, is losing steam.

China’s gross domestic product expanded 7.5 percent year-on-year in the April-June period, slowing from 7.7 percent in the previous three months.

A liquidity crunch last month also exposed risks in the Chinese banking system, when a shortage of funds on China’s interbank market sent the interest rates banks charge to lend to each other to record highs.

The development raised worries over the health of the financial sector and sent banking stocks into a tailspin.

China last week also announced a long-awaited interest rate liberalisation, removing a floor on banks’ lending rates, but the move sparked worries that narrower interest margins could erode earnings.

“The slowdown in China’s economy, coupled with the pressure from China’s interest rate liberalisation, has led to very low valuations of Chinese banks,” said Lu of the Industrial Bank.

Last year, ICBC’s net profit rose 14.5 percent to 238.7 billion yuan ($38.9 billion). The bank has 17,125 domestic branches and claims nearly 400 million corporate and individual customers, according to its website.

No-one from ICBC was immediately available to comment to AFP.

On Wednesday, ICBC closed down 0.25 percent at 3.92 yuan ($0.64) in Shanghai but up 0.78 percent at HK$5.14 ($0.66) in Hong Kong.

Wells Fargo closed down 0.13 percent at $44.57 on Tuesday.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • willie malabanan

    Nobody likes a bully. The bully goes down. Eventually.

  • ProudToBePinoy75

    Good news again. china is on its way down

  • Pinsan_ni_Mang_Kanor

    ICBC – Idiot Communism Bank of China

  • warillaman

    mongoloid china is nothing now without the world, they think they are the world richest, when it was the world that makes them rich, thanks to their cheap inferior goods and bullying they are falling down with a loud thud, he,he,he,he,

    • sanjuan683

      Dont be sure China will rebound later. By the way don’t eat at Chinese food, don’t go inside SM, Robinson and Divisoria if you do that they gonna kick you outside. hahahahahahahahahe Mabuhay ang China hahahahahaha Mga Pilipino mukhang Intsik hindi mukhang amerikano puede ring mukhang amerikano negro nga lang. hahahahahaha

      • Sun Tzu


      • warillaman

        better go back to your mongoloid retard country, he,he,he,he,he,

  • JanofVA

    China is nothing more than the modern day Russia….everyone thought they were a super power but when the wall fell, we all found out that it was all a facade…

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