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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK
Chinese bank to float in October
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China branch
ICBC's share listing has attracted a host of foreign investors
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the country's biggest lender, plans to launch a share listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong on 27 October.

It hopes to sell a 22% stake in itself and raise up to $21bn (11bn), which would set a new record for a listing.

China's surging economy has created huge demand for banking services and forced the sector to modernise.

International share offerings are part of this process - since June 2005 four lenders have raised $25bn by listing.

Foreign interest

Last week, China Merchants Bank, the country's sixth-biggest lender, raised $2.4bn from a Hong Kong share offering.

Some analysts have warned off investors, pointing to Chinese banks' problems with bad loans, fraud investigations and antiquated computer systems.

But it has not stopped foreign investors from moving in to grab a slice of the sector.

A US-German consortium including Goldman Sachs, American Express and Allianz has signed a deal to acquire 10% of ICBC for $3.8bn.

The Kuwait government has agreed to buy $720m shares, making it the largest single subscriber to ICBC's share offering.

ICBC 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 47.2bn yuan ($6bn; 3.1bn) this year, compared with 33.7bn yuan the year before.


SEE ALSO
Strong debut for China Merchants
22 Sep 06 |  Business
Chinese bank moves nearer float
14 Aug 06 |  Business
Flotation of China bank approved
19 Jul 06 |  Business
Bank of China sale raises $9.7bn
24 May 06 |  Business
China bank makes HK stock debut
27 Oct 05 |  Business
China's biggest bank sells stake
31 Aug 05 |  Business

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