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Chinese regulatory body okays BOC's HK listing
Updated: 2006-01-09 15:04

Bank of China, the country's second-largest lender by assets, has received approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission for its upcoming initial public offering in Hong Kong, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The bank plans to file a listing application in Hong Kong in the next few weeks, a Dow Jones Newswire report said, citing a person close to the deal who insisted on anonymity.

Bank of China will be the second of China's top four state-owned lenders to list its stock on an international market.

The deal, which could raise more than US$4 billion (euro3.3 billion), will be one of the largest IPOs in Hong Kong this year and is scheduled to take place in April or May.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the mainland's biggest bank, may also list shares in Hong Kong later this year. The ICBC offering could also top US$4 billion (euro3.3 billion).

In October, China Construction Bank Corp., one of the top four mainland banks, was the first to list in Hong Kong and sold US$9.2 billion (euro7.6 billion) of shares in the world's largest IPO for 2005.

Analysts said the demand for Chinese banking shares is expected to remain strong this year as investors are eager to use the banking sector to invest in China's fast-growing economy.

China Construction Bank's shares have risen 27 percent since the October listing.

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