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Agricultural Bank of China becomes shareholding company
Updated: 2009-01-16 20:59

BEIJING - The state-owned Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) officially became a shareholding company Friday. It is the last of the "big four" state-owned commercial banks to complete the restructuring.

The Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. had a registered capital of 260 billion yuan (US$38 billion). The Central Huijin Investment Co., an arm of China's sovereign wealth fund, and the Ministry of Finance each held 50 percent stake in the new corporation.

Former ABC President Xiang Junbo was appointed chairman of board of directors, and former ABC Vice-President Zhang Yun was appointed president of the new bank and vice-chairman of board of directors.

The new company received its business registration license Thursday. It inherits the assets, liabilities and businesses of the original bank.

The ABC is the last unlisted bank among China's "big four" state-owned commercial banks. Its non-performing loan ratio was 4.3 percent by the end of 2008.

The "big four" also include the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Bank of China. They are all listed on both Shanghai and Hong Kong bourses.

There was no timing for ABC public offering, which would take at least one year to prepare, Pan Gongsheng, vice president of the bank, said at the official launch ceremony here.