Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the largest lender in China Mainland, started a preparation for acquiring a small Indonesia bank, which is the first time for a Chinese bank to launch overseas acquisition.

The lender is busy with the world's largest IPO - a US$21 billion (HK$163.8 billion) dual Hong Kong and Shanghai listing - next month.

The nation's central bank - Bank of Indonesia spokenman Budi Mulya has confirmed the news and said ICBC and the shareholders of PT Bank Halim Indonesia are proceeding a high-rank talk. The plan might get the support from Indonesia regulation institution, as during the financial risks in 1997-1998, Indonesia's banking regulators always were in attempt to consolidate the sector nearly paralyzed due to the bad-loan.

Though ICBC's assets size ranked head in the world, the global operating network was limited. According to the bank's annual report in 2005, it own only 100 overseas branches, while the number is 18,764 in mainland.

ICBC's interest in Bank Halim reflects its long-term strategy to exploit Southest Asia markets. Bank of Indonesia's statistics indicates Bank Halim's total assets value reach to 520.48 billion Rupiahs ($564 million)