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Baosteel joins bid for Guangdong bank
(Shenzhen Daily/Agencies)
Updated: 2006-02-08 15:47

Shanghai Baosteel Group Corp., top domestic steelmaker, has joined a consortium led by Societe Generale bidding for a stake in Guangdong Development Bank, domestic media reported.

China Huawen Enterprises Development, a unit of the People's Daily, has withdrawn from the group, the China Securities Journal reported yesterday, citing an unnamed source.

The newspaper did not give any more details about Baosteel's involvement in the Societe Generale consortium.

Three separate consortiums, including one led by U.S. banking giant Citigroup and another spearheaded by domestic insurance firm Ping An, were due to hand in documents for the final round of bids yesterday, the newspaper said.

According to a report by the country's leading financial magazine, Caijing, the Citigroup consortium has put in the highest offer at 24.1 billion yuan (US$2.97 billion) for 85 percent of Guangdong Development Bank.

The companies involved were not immediately available to comment.

The Societe Generale consortium is believed to have offered 23.5 billlion yuan for a similar stake in the bank while Ping An Group offered 22.6 billion.

Foreign financial institutions are usually barred from taking control of domestic banks but the financial difficulties of the Guangdong Development Bank have made it a special case, according to domestic media reports.

The result of the bidding is expected to be announced by the end of this month, the report said.

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