Bank of China (BoC) has abandoned efforts to purchase a 20% stake in French private bank Financière Edmond de Rothschild after the deal failed to win regulatory approval before a deadline expired, the Wall Street Journal reported. The March 31 deadline already represented a three-month extension on the original cutoff point, but there was still no word from the China Banking Regulatory Commission regarding the US$312 million deal. BoC spokesman Wang Zhaowen didn’t rule out a fresh bid but said the bank had no plans for renegotiation at present. It hopes to cooperate with Rothschild in other ways. The failure of this deal is the latest evidence of Beijing’s cautious attitude toward outbound investment in the financial sector. Previous forays into this area – purchasing stakes in the likes of Morgan Stanley, Blackstone and Barclays – have resulted in huge losses due to the global financial crisis.
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