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ICBC sets up joint-stock bank, readies for IPO
Updated: 2005-10-28 13:57

China's biggest state-owned bank formally launched a joint stock company on Friday in preparation for selling its shares overseas following an initial public offering by smaller lender China Construction Bank.

China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan (L) and ICBC Limited President Jiang Jianqing (R) unveil the name plate of the joint stock bank in Beijing October 28, 2005. [newsphoto]
The Beijing-based Industrial and Commercial Bank of China announced its joint-stock company, with registered capital of 248 billion yuan ($30.6 billion) earlier this week and inaugurated it on Friday with announcements in the state media.

The company, named ICBC Stock Co., Ltd., was jointly launched by the Ministry of Finance and Central Huijin Investment Co and inherits the business and concerned assets and liabilities of the former ICBC.

Like China Construction Bank, whose shares began trading Thursday on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, ICBC has sought outside investment and expertise as it revamps in preparation for the full opening of China's banking industry to foreign competition in 2006.

The bank said earlier that investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., American Express Co. and Germany's Allianz AG planned to buy a combined 10 percent stake for more than $3 billion, with the deal to be finalized after bank was restructured.

ICBC announced earlier this year that it plans to sell shares to private investors in 2006. The government injected $15 billion into the bank in April to help replenish its funds.
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