Giant on the move
Faced with a backlash against foreign investors, Beijing may
be tempted to offer shares in the last of its big four banks to
a domestic audience.
That decision may reflect China's new found confidence in
the wake of the credit crisis. But it also means Chinese investors
will retain full responsibility for the country's weakest bank.
The Agricultural Bank of China might end up just listing in
Shanghai without any endorsement from foreign institutions,
bankers close to the deal say. The bank claims it is still
keeping its options open.
But if AgBank pursues this path, it would be in sharp contrast
to the privatisation of China's three other large banks, all of
which attracted foreign strategic investors before listing in
both Hong Kong and Shanghai.