Bank of China, CCB vie for first listing

Which of the two state-owned banks will come first?

With two foreign auditors already hired, a fierce competition is bubbling between Bank of China and China Construction Bank to achieve an overseas listing, say Chinese bankers and media reports, but a listing, domestic or international, is not likely before 2005.

It is on the record that in 2002, the new CCCB president, Zhang Enzhou, announced his determination to be the first listed state-owned bank. Bank of China, then under Liu Mingkang, was not keen to be bested, but NPL levels left the bank with no option but to accept a listing date of 2005 compared to a preliminary date of 2004 for CCB.

CCB's advantage is that it's...

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