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Capital moves factored in, says fund

(China Daily/Agencies)
Updated: 2009-11-27 08:02

Potential capital-raising plans have been factored into current valuations of major Chinese bank shares, said a portfolio manager with Neuberger Berman on Wednesday.

The independent fund manager said it had cut its exposure to Chinese banking stocks in August, when talk of likely increases in bank capital ratios began to circulate.

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China's banking regulator wanted large state lenders, including Bank of China, to raise their capital adequacy ratios after a lending boom this year, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters earlier this week.

"This not really new, the discussions have been going on since summer. We undertook a major portfolio repositioning back then," said Frank Yao, managing director with Neuberger Berman.

Yao said major banks like China's top lender ICBC and China Construction Bank might not need to issue any additional shares.

The valuation of the MSCI China Index, with a price to earnings ratio at 13 times estimated 2010 earnings, lagged its historical average mainly because of undervalued shares of commercial banks and telecommunications companies, said Yao.