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Bank of China to sell shares in Hong Kong
Updated: 2005-12-29 14:58

Bank Of China, the country's third-largest lender, will apply to list its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange early next year, the China Securities Journal reported Thursday.

The long anticipated move follows the approval of a purchase of a 5 percent stake in the bank by Singaporean government investment company Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd., the report said.

"Preparations for listing application materials have been completed and the bank will submit its listing application to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in early 2006," according to the report by the newspaper, which cited an unnamed source at the bank.

Beijing-based Caijing Magazine reported earlier this week that the government-owned Central Huijin Investment Co., Bank of China's controlling shareholder, had signed off on the bank's plan to sell a 5 percent stake to Temasek for an undisclosed sum.

Bank of China's spokesman, Wang Zhaowen, had no comment on the China Securities Journal report or its contents, or about Temasek's bid. However, he confirmed the bank was preparing its application for a listing in Hong Kong.

Central Huijin earlier rejected a bid by Temasek to take a 10 percent stake in the Chinese lender. The reasons for its objections have not been disclosed, though Caijing reported that Finance Ministry officials argued the price offered for the bank's shares was too low.
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