ICBC to make 'largest IPO ever'

27 September 2006

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the nation's largest financial institution will debut on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges next month, with analysts predicting that the initial public offering (IPO) will be the largest the world has ever seen.

ICBC officials said the IPO would be made on the October 27th, with around $19 billion expected to be raised – beating the previous record for the largest IPO ever, set by Japanese mobile phone company NTT DoCoMo, which raised $18.4 billion in 1998.

Around 14.8 per cent of the bank's share capital is expected to be on offer, with around three quarters moved to Hong Kong, where over 35 billion shares will become available – although this could increase, the bank said, if investor enthusiasm was strong enough.

The move follows two of China's other large banks in making IPOs in order to fund the modernization of the Chinese financial sector ahead of its opening to greater foreign investment and influence in the coming months.

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