China's Bank of Communications has drawn flocks of investors to its US$1.9bn IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and retail shareholders have demanded 155 times the number of shares on offer, the Financial Times reported. Trading begins on June 23. A strong showing by BoCom, China's fifth-largest lender and the first to list abroad, is vital to Beijing's strategy to list its ailing Big Four state banks abroad. A flagging debut by BoCom could delay the US$5bn listing of China Construction bank in Hong Kong before the end of the year. HSBC owns almost 20% of BoCom and international fund managers rushed to the IPO, defying pessimism over China's privatizations. Institutional investors sought 11 times the number of shares on offer.