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ICBC may raise 6.6 billion dollars in rights issue

HONG KONG, Jul 7 – Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the world\’s largest bank by market value, plans to raise about 6.6 billion dollars in a rights issue in Hong Kong and Shanghai, a report said on Wednesday.

The bank hopes to issue about 0.3 to 0.5 rights shares for every 10 existing Shanghai-listed A shares and Hong Kong-listed H shares under the preliminary plan, Chinese daily Ming Pao reported, citing an unnamed source close to the deal.

Shares in the bank dipped 1.76 percent to 5.57 Hong Kong dollars (0.71 US) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at midday Wednesday following the report.

The news came as Chinese state-run banks seek to replenish their capital after the government ordered lenders to keep more money in reserve.

Agricultural Bank of China — the last of China\’s big four lenders to float its shares — is set to raise up to 22.1 billion dollars later this month in what is likely to be the world\’s largest initial public offering.

Bank of China said last week it planned to raise up to 8.9 billion dollars in a share rights issue in Shanghai and Hong Kong to strengthen its capital base.

China Construction Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, two others among the "big four", have also announced plans to raise tens of billions of dollars between them.

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