Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDB) said it plans to raise US$1.04 billion this year to boost capital, possibly through share offerings in Hong Kong or Frankfurt, or by selling additional A-shares in China, the Wall Street Journal reported. The strategies under consideration were revealed by Gao Xia, an assistant to the bank's general manager, who also said that the Shanghai-listed bank expects to post a 30% increase in earnings this year. In 2006, it saw net profit rise 31% to US$437.7 million. The new A-shares could be picked up by Citigroup, which currently has a stake of less than 3.8% in SPDB but has an option to increase this to 19.9%, the maximum permitted holding for a foreign bank, regulators permitting. SPDB, which wants to increase its capital adequacy ratio above 10% this year so it has sufficient funding to diversify into non-banking business, is planning an insurance joint venture with BNP Paribas and a fund-management joint venture with AXA.
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