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CCB chairman quits amid graft allegations
Updated: 2005-03-16 14:12

China Construction Bank chairman Zhang Enzhao has resigned for "personal reasons," a statement said Wednesday, amid reports that he was at the center of a graft investigation.

Zhang Enzhao [newsphoto/file]
The board of directors of the nation's third largest lender approved the resignation which took effect immediately. President Chang Zhenming was filling in for the time being, the company said.

Zhang was being investigated amid allegations of corruption at the bank, the Beijing Morning Post reported Wednesday.  He was suspected of getting kickbacks from some IT companies for approving loans on favorable terms, according to the report.

The bank did not mention this in its statement but said "it would move forward with improvement of its governing structure and accelerate reform of its management mechanisms."

The bank would strive to become an "internationally competitive financial institution" through "rigid internal controls and safe operations."

Bank officials were not immediately available for comment.

The swift action taken by the bank could reflect the awkward timing of the reported corruption investigation.

The bank is trying to spruce up for an overseas share sale, hoping to raise up to five billion dollars, according to reports.

Zhang, born in 1946 and with a diploma in economic engineering, started his career with China Construction Bank at age 18.

He became president of the bank in 2002, replacing Wang Xuebing, who was sacked and later jailed for corruption. Zhang became the bank's chairman last year.

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