China Minsheng Bank has received approval from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange to invest in US lender United Commercial Bank through the acquisition of a stake in its holding company, AFP reported, citing state media. The stake in San Francisco-based UCBH Holdings would be the first strategic investment by a Chinese lender in a US bank. Under the terms of the deal, Minsheng would buy 4.9% of UCBH for US$95 million as the first step toward acquiring an eventual 20% stake in the bank by the summer of 2009. Minsheng hopes the investment in UCBH, which targets Chinese communities in the US and American businesses in China, will help it develop a full range of financial services and improve asset management. However, Minsheng’s plan will likely require approval from US regulators.