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China Merchants in Talks to Replace Ousted Djibouti-Bank Partner

  • Djibouti government seeks new shareholder in lender Silkroad
  • IZP stake bought back by investors after money-laundering fine

China Merchants Bank Co. is in talks to take a stake in Djibouti’s Silkroad International Bank SA after a unit of China-based IZP Group was expelled as a shareholder after being penalized for allegedly breaching anti-money laundering rules.

The discussions are an illustration of the deepening ties between the world’s second-biggest economy and the tiny northeast African nation, a passing point for about a third of the world’s shipping traffic. IZP Group’s Globebill Technology Co. was among third-party payment companies fined by China’s foreign-exchange regulator for violating rules on cross-border payments, Beijing-based Caixin Global reported in February.