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Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2006, 06:00 GMT 07:00 UK
China bank raises $19bn in float
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China branch
China's economic prospects makes the bank an attractive investment
China's biggest lender, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, has raised $19bn (10bn) in the world's largest stock market floatation.

The shares, which are due to begin trading on 27 October, will be listed in Hong Kong and China.

The sale was heavily oversubscribed as investors tried to tap into one of the world's fastest growing economies.

China has been overhauling its banking system, toughening up regulation in an effort to cut corruption and bad loans.

Growth potential

The government has bought back billions of dollars of bad loans to help banks clean up their balance sheets and make them more attractive to investors.

Analysts said the potential for growth of consumer and corporate lending in China was massive as wage levels increase and company profits rise.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was set up by the Chinese government in 1984 and has 21,000 branches, 360,000 staff and 150 million customers.

In a recent statement, it said it expected to earn a net profit of $6bn this year, compared with $4.3bn in 2005.

The previous record for the world's largest initial share flotation was $18.4bn, which was raised by Japan's NTT Mobile Communications Network in 1998.

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14 Aug 06 |  Business
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19 Jul 06 |  Business
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24 May 06 |  Business

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