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Central Huijin may maintain stake in BOC when lock-up ends

Jul. 2, 2009 (China Knowledge) - China's Central Huijin Investment Co Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China's US$200-billion sovereign wealth fund, is likely to keep its stake in Bank of China (BOC)<601988><3988>, the Standard reported.

BOC on Tuesday announced that 171.33 billion of its A-shares, owned by Central Huijin, will become tradable on Jul. 6. A total of 177.8 billion A-shares, or 70.05% of outstanding shares, will thus be tradable on the Shanghai Stock Exchange next Monday.

State-owned Central Huijin, BOC's largest shareholder, said on Wednesday that it will not necessarily sell shares at the end of the lock-up period.

Central Huijin also said that it will continue to maintain its controlling-shareholder status in key state-owned financial institutions such as BOC to support their prudent development.

Last September, Central Huijin said that it would purchase more shares of BOC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)<601398><1398> and China Construction Bank Corp (CCB)<601939><0939> in the secondary market in the next three months to support the sagging stock market.

At end of March, Central Huijin, China's largest financial holding company, held 67.53% stake in BOC. It bought 76.6 million A-shares of BOC in 2008.

A-shares of Bank of China gained 3.12% to close at RMB 4.63 on Wednesday.

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