RBS, Merrill and KS Li buy into BOC

Investor group buy a 10% pre-IPO stake in Bank of China for $3.1 billion.

The news became official yesterday Thursday that the Europe's third largest bank RBS was investing $1.6 billion for a 5% stake in Bank of China. Co-investing with RBS for a slightly smaller stake for $1.5 billion are a consortium comprising Merrill Lynch and the Li Ka Shing Foundation, the personal holding company of KS Li, Asia's richest man. Other investors are understood to be in the deal but their identities have not been revealed.

RBS has committed to hold onto its stake for three years and has stated that it does not plan to invest any more in Bank of China. The price values the bank at 1.15 times its net...

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