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Banking on China

Shenzhen Development's Frank Newman continues to expand.

Crisis? What crisis? Don’t ask Frank Newman , former deputy secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He’s now chairman and CEO of Shenzhen Development Bank Co., which racked up a record 3.3 billion yuan ($483 million) in net profit for the first nine months of 2008, up 77 percent over the same period in 2007. Under Newman, SDB upped its capital ratio from 2 percent to 8 percent and expanded into mortgage and trade finance lending, primarily to small- and medium-size businesses. "I don’t think China will have the extreme stress that banks in the U.S. and EU are having," a bullish Newman, 66, tells II . "The regulator has prohibited banks from making high-risk loans," he says, noting that the standard mortgage requires a 30 percent down payment. The onetime Bank of America Corp. and Bankers Trust New York Corp. senior exec joined SDB in 2005, becoming the first foreigner to take the helm of a Chinese bank.