The Bank of China (BOC), one of the nation's ï¿½big fourï¿½ State-owned commercial banks, said it has scheduled its initial public offering (IPO) for 2005, one year before the market is fully opened to foreign competitors.
The bank already has a listed unit in Hong Kong but still has a lot to of work to do disposing of massive non-performing loans (NPL) on the mainland.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission earlier announced that the central government had approved a reform plan for the big four banks and would pick one or two of them for a trial. The reform will include further disposal of bad loans, recapitalization and restructuring.
State media reported that outstanding NPLs at Chinese banking institutions totaled RMB 2 trillion (US$240 billion) at the end of October.