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Bank of China, the country's No 3 lender by assets, wants to issue convertible bonds as soon as it can, it said on Thursday, as part of a broader effort by Chinese banks to raise funds to replenish their coffers after a lending spree in 2009.
The bank also hopes to complete its new H-share issue, the other component of its fund-raising plans, by the end of this year, its President Li Lihui said.
"There will always be a suitable time this year, so we'll have to watch the market," Li told reporters after the bank's annual shareholders' meeting.
China's securities regulator this month granted preliminary approval to Bank of China to sell up to 40 billion yuan in domestic A-share convertible bonds.Bank of China's move to push ahead with its plans stands in contrast to China Construction Bank, which said this month it may delay its planned $11 billion capital-raising to early next year due to uncertain market conditions. The recent sell-off on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets has also fuelled concerns over whether investors can digest another share offering at the same time as the Agricultural Bank of China's planned $30 billion initial public offering, the world's biggest ever. Bank of China also confirmed an earlier Reuters report that it intends to subscribe to two-thirds of the 30 billion yuan in treasury notes that China's central bank is going to issue, Li said.
"We're going out there and making our own decision on buying these notes as a form of investment," Li said.