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China CITIC bank aims for Hong Kong listing

China CITIC bank intends to be listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange by the end of 2006, raising at least $2 billion in an initial public offering (IPO), the bank's president has announced.

CITIC president Chen Xiaoxain made the announcement while speaking to reporters at a recent banking forum in Beijing.

The move follows several other Chinese financial institutions looking to sell more of their shares abroad, ahead of the opening up of China's financial markets at the end of the year, as is required under China's current World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitments.

Other Chinese banks including Bank of China have already made IPOs in the former British colony, sparking huge investor interest.

Mr Chen said that the bank's recent good performance meant that the $2 billion target for his bank's IPO was a realistic one.

"The amount of money we raise will depend on the situation at the time, but I think we can raise at least $2 billion judging by our current growth," Mr Chen said, adding that he hoped to complete the listing process by the end of the year.