ICBC overtakes HSBC in market value

Updated: 2006-12-26 19:46

People walk past a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) in Hong Kong. ICBC has overtaken global banking giant HSBC Holdings to become the world's third-largest bank by market value.[AFP]

HONG KONG - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the country's largest lender, has overtaken global banking giant HSBC Holdings to become the world's third-largest bank by market value, according to reports.

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ICBC shares jumped 10 percent on Monday to close at 5.21 yuan on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, valuing the firm at 214.2 billion dollars, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said.

At the close of trading in London on December 22, HSBC had a market capitalisation of 208.4 billion dollars, behind Bank of America Corp at 239.6 billion dollars and Citigroup, the world's largest financial firm, at 268 billion dollars, the newspaper said.

Shares of ICBC, which raised 21.1 billion dollars in the world's biggest initial public offering in October, have risen 67 percent on the domestic stock market since it listed in October, while its Hong Kong H-shares have gained 43 percent.

Shares of Bank of China gained 7.5 percent to 4.3 yuan in Shanghai Monday, making it the world's sixth-largest lender, with a market capitalisation of 135.9 billion dollars, overtaking Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the newspaper said.

Citing market watchers, the newspaper said the popularity of the stock is likely to keep growing as investors show increased interest in Chinese financial institutions.

Three of the big four Chinese banks -- ICBC, Bank of China, China Construction Bank -- and the fifth largest lender, Bank of Communications, are already listed in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong market was closed on Monday and Tuesday. ICBC's H-shares closed at 4.40 Hong Kong dollars (56 US cents) on Friday and banking stocks are expected to soar when the market opens on Wednesday.

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