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Bank of China negotiates for listing

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by Brian Turner
Bank of China negotiates for listing

The Bank of China, one of China’s four big state-owned banks, has announced that it is negotiating with approximately ten potential foreign partners in anticipation of its listing on foreign exchanges.

Its initial public offering is expected to come as early as later this year. China Construction Bank had been poised to list first, but the recent departure of its chairman under a cloud may mean a delay in its listing.

Among the Bank of China’s possible partners are Deutsche Bank, UBS, and Bank of America. This disclosure comes after months of the bank’s refusals to say exactly who it was negotiating with.

The negotiations have been going on for at least a year, and Thursday’s announcement is seen as a possible attempt to speed up the process. The IPOs of the two banks are part of China’s attempt to reform its financial system.

Both banks have been restructured extensively in the past year, but have also been the focus of scandal and questions about their ability to improve their operations.

Foreign banks may bet board seats on the Chinese banks, but because of the size of the banks they are not likely to gain any management control despite pumping billions of dollars into the banks.

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News posted: April 7, 2005

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