For the first time, three of China’s four largest lenders last year posted larger increases in overseas lending than in domestic corporate loans. The expansion, believed to have largely funneled to Chinese companies, comes as Chinese banks try to carve out a bigger presence in some of the world’s priciest business districts, financially as well as physically: Bank of China last year moved its US headquarters to a 460-foot-tall glass tower in Midtown Manhattan. Bank of China was the top originator of overseas corporate loans last year, with 1.7 trillion yuan ($246.8 billion) in such lending, a 10.6% increase from 2015. It was the first time its rise in new overseas loans, at 166.2 billion yuan, outstripped the increase in domestic corporate loans, at 94.6 billion yuan. The bank last month said it was exploring the “blue sea,” a Chinese term sometimes used to mean rich market potential, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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