ICBC sets up joint-stock bank, readies for IPO
Updated: 2005-10-28 13:57
Another state-owned bank, the Bank of China, also is expected to launch a
stock offering by next March or April.
The potential size of ICBC's
eventual IPO has not yet been announced. The Construction Bank raised $8 billion
with its IPO, the world's biggest stock launch this year. The bank's shares made
only a small splash on the first day of trading Thursday, however, because their
price left little room for quick gains. The shares ended the day unchanged at
their IPO price of HK$2.35 (30 U.S. cents).
A woman walks in
front of an Industrial and Commercial Bank of China office in Shanghai in
this October 17, 2005 photo. The bank has been transformed into a joint
stock company and will seek overseas listing, probably in Hong Kong next
Like the other big banks, ICBC is burdened with bad debt and is in the
process of removing some 700 billion yuan ($86 billion) in nonperforming assets
from its balance sheets.
In its announcement Friday, the bank vowed to ensure "that customers'
interests come first, faithfully perform its duties, carefully handle business
issues ... and continue to render quality financial services to its customers."
The bank reportedly is tapping high-powered veteran bankers help to improve
its corporate governance and risk management.
The Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post reported earlier this week
that ICBC would name Antony Leung, a former Hong Kong financial secretary, and
John Thornton, a former Goldman Sachs president, to be independent directors of
the joint stock company.
Leung worked at Chase Manhattan and Citigroup before joining the Hong Kong
government in 2000. Thornton teaches at Beijing's Tsinghua University, the
country's premier engineering school.