BoCom readies investment banking spinoff

China’s fifth-largest bank has started gauging investor demand for an IPO of its offshore securities brokerage and investment banking arm, BoCom International Holdings.

Bank of Communications BoCom, China’s fifth-largest lender by assets, has started sounding out investors for a $200 million initial public offering of its offshore securities brokerage and investment banking business.

Wu Wei, chief financial officer of the Shanghai-headquartered bank, has said the listing of BoCom International Holdings forms part of its strategy to establish an independent offshore banking franchise for the bank and stressed that raising new funds is not a priority.

The proposed IPO, which BoCom began pushing on Thursday, will nonetheless provide BoCom International with fresh capital to expand in Hong Kong, where competition in the...

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