The Bank of China (BoC; 601988.SH, 3988.HK) will launch a renminbi-denominated share sale on the Hong Kong stock exchange, AFP reported, citing the Apple Daily. The report said the bank’s Hong Kong-based investment arm, Bank of China Group Investment, is looking to raise US$349 million in an IPO, but did not say when. If true, Bank of China would become the first state-owned enterprise (SOE) to raise funds via a renminbi-denominated share sale outside the mainland, and its fund-raising in renminbi would be second only to Cheung Kong’s (0001.HK) planned share sale, recently given the green light by China’s regulators. Many analysts see the steadily expanding scope of renminbi-denominated financial products in Hong Kong as evidence that Chinese regulators are taking steps to internationalize the country’s currency.
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