A number of European companies may want a stake in China CITIC bank, the South China Morning Post reported, quoting sources. Companies like Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, Barclays Bank and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria have all shown interest in China's seventh-largest bank by assets. The 19-year-old CITIC Bank is one of the last commercial lenders that can offer foreign companies a potential link into the mainland. The bank, which has 9,000 employees, plans to raise US$2 billion with a Hong Kong offering possibly this year as it prepares for the full opening of the mainland's banking market to foreign competition at the end of 2006. The bank may offer a stake of up to 10% to a foreign investor.
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