Bank of China has increased the number of shares available to major investors to US$2.16 billion, the South China Morning Post reported. The bank has signed agreements guaranteeing 12 key investors US$180 million in shares, up from the original allocation of US$160 million. The agreements come with a 12-month lock-up period on the shares and have been made on the condition that the investors do not subscribe for more shares through international placements or retail offerings. This is seen as a move to ensure that public investors are not squeezed out of the initial public offering. In large scale IPOs, issuers usually have to limit the key investor allocation to 25% of the total, which suggests that BOC will raise at least US$8.64 billion, higher than the predicted US$6-8 billion.