Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the mainland's largest state-owned bank, is considering injecting its Hong Kong assets into Union Bank as part of a plan to turn its locally listed vehicle into a leading player in Hong Kong. The expansion of Union Bank, to be renamed Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia), comes at a time when the mainland bank is enlarging its business portfolio outside the country and enhancing its competitiveness ahead of Beijing's World Trade Organisation accession. Jiang Jianqing, chairman and president of ICBC, said the Hong Kong branch of ICBC had a large loan portfolio and sizeable assets. The bank might inject some quality business into Union Bank. Mr Jiang, also the chairman of Union Bank, said the move would be part of ICBC's proposals to restructure its overlapping businesses in Hong Kong. ICBC has one branch in Hong Kong, which provides wholesale banking services and has total assets of more than HK$14.5 billion. The acquisition of Union Bank was a significant step for ICBC to expand globally, said Mr Jiang. In April, ICBC announced the purchase of 53.23 per cent of Union Bank, which has 21 branches in the SAR, for HK$1.8 billion.