The investment arm of the Singapore government, Temasek, will not sell its shares in Bank of China (BOC) through at least the first half of the year, Reuters reported, citing state media. In an interview given with the Shanghai Securities News on Saturday, BOC chairman Xiao Gang said the Chinese lender had received assurances that Temasek would not cut any of its 4.13% stake in BOC before the middle of 2009. Xiao also denied market rumors that BOC might take its Hong Kong-listed unit private and reiterated that the lender would not bid for the Asian life insurance wing of beleaguered insurer AIG. Both Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS have sold out their stakes in BOC, fueling speculation that other foreign investors might cut their stakes.
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