JPMorgan gets bookrunner role on China Merchants Bank IPO

China's sixth largest lender replaces Merrill Lynch to avoid potential conflict of interest.
JPMorgan has been elevated to joint bookrunner for China Merchants Bank's upcoming $1.5 billion to $2 billion initial public offering, replacing Merrill Lynch which has been dropped due to a perceived conflict of interest, sources familiar with the process said.

It is JPMorganÆs first bookrunner mandate for a mainland bank IPO, although it is a junior member of the syndicate for Bank of ChinaÆs pending listing. The US investment bank has also been chosen for a leading role on a number of Chinese IPOs in other sectors lately, signaling that it will play a much more active role in this part of the market in 2006.

Last year, JPMorganÆs only...
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