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Chinese banks to list in 2006

Chinese banks to list in 2006

(12 September 2005 – China) Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), and Bank of China (BOC) are likely to be the first of China’s state owned banks to issue an initial public offering. Both IPOs are set to take place next year as the banks seek to attract foreign investment and expertise with the opening up of China’s banking markets towards the end of 2006.

ICBC said it planned an IPO at an "appropriate" time next year while BOC said it expected its IPO to take place in the first half of 2006.

China’s banks have acknowledged the important role played by foreign banks, saying they can help domestic banks change their culture and operations.

BOC has sold stakes to Royal Bank of Scotland and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.

Goldman Sachs and UBS are underwriting the bank’s IPO.

ICBC is searching for potential suitors with Goldman Sachs, American Express and Allianz said to be in the mix.

Foreign ownership is currently capped at 25 percent of a single Chinese bank but the country’s regulatory commission said it was taking a "step by step" approach and could adjust the policy to allow greater foreign ownership later on.

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