ICBC Names Yi as Chairman, Plans $1 Billion European Investment

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. named Yi Huiman as chairman and announced plans to put 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) into a company focused on central and eastern Europe that will invest in projects including infrastructure.

Yi, 51, will continue in his previous role of president until his replacement is appointed, ICBC said in a statement to Shanghai’s stock exchange on Tuesday. Jiang Jianqing, 63, retired as chairman, the Beijing-based bank said.

Separately, ICBC said its Hong Kong unit will invest in a European-focused financial holding company that will raise funds from European nations and global markets to invest in projects under China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, which aims to strengthen economic and transport ties between Europe and Asia.

Yi moves into the chairman’s role as slowing economic growth and rising bad loans are undermining more than a decade of annual profit gains at China’s biggest lenders. ICBC’s net income may drop 2.7 percent this year, the first decline since it became a publicly traded lender in 2006, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Yi became ICBC’s president in May 2013.

— With assistance by Jun Luo

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