By Michael R. Crittenden
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it approved the expansion of the U.S. operations of three of China's largest banks, including the first acquisition of a U.S. bank by a Chinese bank.
The Fed said it had approved applications from the Bank of China Ltd. and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. to establish new branches. The central bank also approved an application by China's largest bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd., to become a bank holding company through its acquisition of The Bank of East Asia.
The five Fed board members voted unanimously in favor of each of the applications, which come from the first, third and fourth largest banks in China. All of the banks are at least 70% owned by the Chinese government and had at least $1.85 trillion in assets at the end of last year.
-By Michael R. Crittenden, of Dow Jones Newswires; firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-862-9273