Bank of China: legacy of an IPO

Shearman & Sterling examines the significance of Bank of China''s IPO in the wider context of Chinese banking reform.

On July 25 2002, Bank of China Hong Kong successfully completed its US$2.67 billion IPO - the first international equity offering by an affiliate of a PRC bank.

Historically the state bank specializing in foreign exchange transactions, Bank of China has always had an international orientation, with an extensive network of subsidiaries, branches and agencies around the world and the most direct knowledge, among Chinese state-owned banks, of evolving international banking practices.

Financial reform in China has called for a revolution in the operations and management of PRC banks. For state-owned commercial banks, the central objective of these reforms has been to complete their transformation from policy banks to fully commercialized, return-driven banks....

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