Page last updated at 09:54 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

Shaolin temple of kung-fu monks to sell shares in China

shaolin monk
Shaolin monks are famous around the world

The ancient Shaolin temple - famous for its fighting kung-fu monks - will soon be a part of the stock market.

The government body responsible for the 1,500-year-old temple's tourism will be part of a joint-venture to sell shares in Hong Kong or China.

The share sale could raise up to 1bn yuan ($146.4m).

The deal calls for China Travel Service to invest 100m yuan towards a venture under the Shaolin name that will handle services such as ticket sales.

The deal would also include the cable car, cinemas, hotels and tourist bus services in Dengfeng, in the Chinese province of Henan, where the temple is based.

The temple's abbot, Shi Yongxin, took over in the 1990s and has aggressively promoted the Shaolin brand, acting as executive producer in martial arts films based on the temple and upgrading temple facilities for tourists.

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