listing healthy for state-owned commercial banks

Updated: 2006-10-26 21:37

As China's largest commercial bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), will go public on the Shanghai and Hong Kong bourses on Friday, industrial insiders say listing on the stock exchange will help state-owned commercial banks prepare to face competition.

The listing of state-owned commercial banks will encourage open, transparent and standard incentive and restraint mechanism, said Guo Shuqing, Chairman of China Construction Bank (CCB).

CCB went public last October and the Bank of China listed in Hong Kong in June of this year.

The listing of ICBC is a response to looming competition from foreign counterparts and also a move to safeguard the stability and safety of the Chinese financial market, said Li Xiaopeng, deputy president of ICBC.

Insiders agree that the listing of ICBC, China's largest lender, is a milestone in the reform of the Chinese banking industry and the development of the country's capital market.

China will open its banking industry to foreign investors at the end of this year in line with its commitment to the World Trade Organization.

Xie Ping, general manager of Central Huijin Investment Company, said when state-owned commercial banks go public, there is a positive impact on property right ownership and on the diversity of shareholders.

On behalf of the Chinese government, Central Huijin has injected 105 billion U.S. dollars into the BOC, the CCB and the ICBC.

It is easier for the market to provide a timely, open and transparent evaluation of a listed company, said a manager from a financial supervision institution.

Market observers say the listing of big state-owned commercial banks will have a positive impact on the development of China's securities market.

After going public on Friday, ICBC will become the No.1 share in the Chinese stock market and will play a decisive role in stabilizing the stock market and preventing speculation, according to market observers.