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SHANGHAI/BEIJING May 20 (Reuters) - Bank of Communications Co Ltd (BoCom) said it had bought around 80 percent of Brazilian lender Banco BBM SA for about 525 million real ($173.13 million) in the first overseas acquisition by China's fifth-largest lender.
The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Chinese banks, which are increasingly expanding their presence abroad to service domestic firms going overseas even as profit growth wanes and non-performing loans rise at home.
BoCom will finance the deal using its own internal funds, it said in a statement posted on the Hong Kong stock exchange late on Tuesday.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
"Where ever (Chinese) enterprises go, banks must provide quality services, so for a bank, the quickest way is to acquire a stake in a local high-quality bank," said Yu Yan, a finance professor at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
BoCom's acquisition comes after China's largest bank Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd bought Turkey's Tekstilbank in April last year, following the purchase of a controlling stake in a unit of Africa's top lender Standard Bank. ($1 = 3.0324 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Engen Tham in Shanghai and Shu Zhang in Beijing; Editing by Miral Fahmy)