Bank of China put itself on course for a record US$2.5 billion domestic initial public offering as it began marketing its A-shares Monday at RMB3.0-3.1 (US$.37-.39). This puts the offering at 2.76 times book value, which means it is likely to eclipse Sinopec's US$1.47 billion IPO made in 2001. Fund managers expect a 20% upside for BOC A-shares, the South China Morning Post reported. A total of US$494 million, 20% of the share issue, is to be allocated to five domestic insurance companies and nine other strategic investors. All strategic investors have agreed to lock up their shares for 18 months. A further 32% of the shares will be reserved for other institutional investors with the remaining 48% going to retail subscribers.