BOCHK: a breakthrough in financial sector reform

BOCHK operated in Hong Kong but its IPO was the test bed for reform across the Chinese financial sector.

In May 2015, Forbes ranked Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China first to fourth in its list of top banks globally by asset size, market capitalisation, revenue and profit. It is hard to imagine that less than 40 years ago, none of these institutions existed. In 1978, China had only the People's Bank of China central bank, policy bank, commercial bank and regulator all in one.

By 1998, the broad structure we know today was in place. The ”big four” state-owned banks were in operation. A number of joint stock commercial banks had been set up....

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