BoCom to issue A shares

By Yu Lu (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-11-18 09:18

Bank of Communications (BoCom), China's fifth largest lender, plans to issue up to 4.5 billion A shares in a domestic listing, a senior official said.

"The board of directors have approved the A-share issue plan," said Peng Chun, executive vice-president of BoCom. The bank expects to improve its shareholding structure and boost its capital through the A-share listing.

If BoCom's A shares are priced similar to the latest market price of its H shares, the bank could raise as much as 32 billion yuan (US$4.05 billion). But analysts expect the H shares price to drop.

"The H-share price is at a high level," said She Minhua, an analyst from CITIC Securities.

The South China Morning Post reported recently BoCom plans to raise nearly 20 billion yuan (US$2.53 billion) in the Shanghai stock market in the first half of next year, quoting unnamed sources close to the situation.

The report also said BoCom hired CITIC Securities, China Galaxy Securities and Haitong Securities and Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities to underwrite its domestic share sale.
However, Peng from BoCom said there is no timetable for the listing and the plan still needs approval from shareholders and regulators.

BoCom, the first Chinese bank listed in Hong Kong, reported on Thursday a strong performance for the first nine months. Its total assets reached 1.6 trillion yuan (US$202.5 billion) by the end of September, up 12.63 per cent over the end of last year.

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