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ICBC sets up joint stock comany
Updated: 2005-10-27 10:46

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) set up a joint-stock company Tuesday with registered capital of 248 billion yuan (30.6 billion US dollars).

The company, named ICBC Stock Co., Ltd., was jointly launched by the Ministry of Finance and Central Huijin Investment Company, said government sources.

The new company inherits the business and concerned assets and liabilities of the former ICBC.

"Joint-stock reform is not the final goal and the establishment of the stock company is merely a start," said Vice Premier Huang Ju during his inspection visit to ICBC Wednesday.

More efforts should be made to improve the corporate governance structure, further reform the incentive and restrictive mechanism and tighten risk management, said Huang.

State commercial banks play an important role in China's financial industry. It is urgent to push forward the joint-stock reform of commercial banks as the interim period after China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) is about to end, which means the banking industry will have to open up, Huang said.

The Fifth Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held earlier this month urges a quicker pace in China's financial reform, said the vice premier.

Bank reform has been more urgent as China prepares to meet commitments to the WTO -- opening its financial markets to foreign competitors by 2006.

Three other state banks -- the China Construction Bank (CCB), Bank of China (BOC) and Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) -- are all on similar reform agenda.

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