Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) is tipped to begin its journey next month toward a U$13 billion dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reported. The process will begin in the first two weeks of March with the bank, China’s second-largest lender by assets and the last unlisted member of the Big Four, inviting applications from investment banks to underwrite and distribute the new shares. Apparently there is some dispute over the timing of the listing itself, with ABC targeting 2009 but the securities regulator favoring 2010. ABC last month completed its restructuring into a joint stock holding company. Its accounts for 2008 showed a 20% increase in profit to US$7.48 billion. The bank received a US$19 billion capital injection, which left the Ministry of Finance and Central Huijin, an arm of China’s sovereign wealth fund, each holding 50% of the stock.
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