Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has begun IPO preparations with a view to listing in 2006, state media reported, without specifying where the offering is to take place. Experts are predicting a US$10 billion IPO, beating the US$9.2 billion raised by China Construction Bank last October. ICBC has announced that operating profits could rise more than 10% to US$12.5 billion, up from US$11.2 billion last year. The gains have been put down to strong performances in wealth management, custodian banking, credit cards and investment banking as well as the removal of a host of bad loans from the books. Revenue from fee-based services rose 20% to US$1.7 billion. American Express was also part of a group including Goldman Sachs that bought a 10% stake in ICBC for US$3.78 billion last month.