ICBC $19.1 Billion IPO to Make World Record – Cathy Chan

From Bloomberg News

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the nation’s biggest by assets, plans to raise as much as $19.1 billion in the world’s largest initial public offering, four people involved in the sale said.

Beijing-based ICBC plans to offer 35.4 billion shares at HK$2.56 to HK$3.07 apiece, said the people, who declined to be identified before an announcement from the bank. The Beijing- based company also may sell 13 billion shares at 2.6 yuan to 3.12 yuan each in Shanghai, they said. The top end of the range is subject to final discussion, the people said.

The IPO probably will exceed the $18.4 billion that Japan’s NTT DoCoMo Inc. raised in 1998. Chinese banks, including China Merchants Bank Co. and China Construction Bank Corp., have attracted $27.7 billion from share sales in the past 15 months. Shares of Shanghai-based Bank of Communications Co. more than doubled since its IPO in June 2005.

“People buy Chinese banks because they’re optimistic about the wider economy, not because they have any individual allure,” said Pauline Dan, who helps manage $1.5 billion at Manulife Asset Management in Hong Kong.

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