Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the mainland's largest state bank, is considering recruiting foreign professionals, including those from Hong Kong, to speed up its development as a commercially-run international entity. 'To attract them, we will give them high salaries and good positions,' said executive vice-president Wang Lili. Her remarks came amid rumours that Chris Chan Chi-keung, the managing director and chief executive of Hong Kong-listed subsidiary ICBC Asia, will be transferred to Beijing as the bank's adviser. Ms Wang said the decision had not been finalised, adding that it was only a 'very small' part of the group's business plan. In a bid to expand the group's business, Ms Wang yesterday led a delegation to Hong Kong to encourage investment in China's western region. She said ICBC would provide a full range of financial support to Hong Kong and overseas investors who were interested in the development of the region. ICBC and the Construction Bank of China are the two of the country's four state-owned commercial banks to aggressively support Beijing's policy to develop the west. ICBC president Jiang Jianqing has said previously that the bank would pay special attention to the funding of infrastructure projects and would extend loan terms for projects which demand a large amount of money and a longer construction time. Asked if the bank would provide preferential terms to attract overseas investors, Ms Wang said ICBC would provide competitive offers to attract clients but all lending conditions would be based on commercial decisions. The bank yesterday also celebrated the opening of foreign exchange operations in Hong Kong. Attracted by the SAR's well-developed forex market, last month it announced plans to move its operations from the mainland.