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ICBC Said to Plan Hiring 20 to 30 Executives in Brazil Expansion

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s biggest lender by market value, may hire 20 to 30 executives in Brazil as it expands in South America’s biggest economy, said a person familiar with the plans.

ICBC is seeking to offer banking services to Chinese companies that trade with or have offices in Brazil, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan isn’t public. The bank will fill about 30 percent of the positions with senior managers, the person said. The Beijing-based lender, which said in April that it wants to set up a bank in Brazil, needs a license from the central bank.

Wang Zhenning, a spokesman for ICBC in Beijing, declined to comment. Brazil’s central bank declined to comment, according to an e-mailed statement.

Brazil traded $77.1 billion in goods with China last year, or 16 percent of South America’s total trade volume of $482.3 billion, according to figures from Trade Ministry in Brasilia. China overtook the U.S. as Brazil’s biggest trading partner in 2009, buying commodities such as iron ore and selling toys, auto parts and vehicles.

ICBC agreed in August to buy assets of Standard Bank Group Ltd. in Argentina for $600 million. ICBC owns 20 percent of Johannesburg-based Standard Bank, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Banco Standard de Investimentos SA is Standard Bank’s Brazil unit.

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