China Construction Bank, the country's second-biggest lender by assets, agreed to pay 1.62 billion reais (HK$5.7 billion) for a majority stake in Brazil's Banco Industrial e Comercial. The 72 per cent stake would include 157.4 million voting shares and 24.7 million preferred shares, which CCB planned to buy for 8.9017 reais each, BicBanco said in a filing on Thursday. The price values the Sao Paulo-based bank at 1.16 times book value as at June 30. CCB will make an offer to buy the remaining stock within 30 days after completion of the deal, which needs to be approved by regulators in Brazil, China and the Cayman Islands. Acquiring a lender was the easiest way for Beijing-based CCB to obtain a licence in Brazil as it followed customers to that country, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said earlier this week. China and Brazil agreed in March to establish a US$30 billion currency swap line, and China National Petroleum Corp won the rights last week to help develop Brazil's biggest oil discovery in the Libra field. Shares in CCB rose 0.5 per cent to HK$6.05 yesterday, compared with a 0.19 per cent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index. Mainland banks, facing a rise in domestic competition, are accelerating global expansion as demand for offshore financial services surges along with the growing presence of mainland companies in overseas markets. CCB, which added operations in countries including Russia, Dubai and Japan this year, now has 17 subsidiaries with total assets of about US$120 billion in 15 countries, according to a statement on the opening of its Luxembourg unit on Thursday. The acquisition of BicBanco, which specialises in loans to medium-sized companies, is CCB's first outside mainland China since it bought a Hong Kong unit of American International Group for US$70 million in November 2009. CCB's bigger rival, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, is also expanding in Latin America. Beijing-based ICBC bought 80 per cent of Standard Bank's Argentine division last year, after having opened in Peru, and received authorisation to open a bank in Brazil. Citigroup advised BicBanco on the sale, according to the filing. Morgan Stanley was advising CCB, the person with knowledge of the matter said this week.