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Bank of Communications announces RMB 56.6-bln private placement

Mar. 16, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Bank of Communications<601328><3328>, the mainland's fifth-largest lender by market value, announced yesterday that it plans to raise RMB 56.6 billion through a private placement to boost its capital base.

The bank said in a statement that it would issue 6.54 billion A shares at RMB 4.55 apiece and 5.84 billion H shares at HK$5.63 per share. Proceeds from the deal will be used to replenish the bank's core capital.

Subscribers of A shares include China's Ministry of Finance (MOF), China's National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Ping An Asset Management Co and China FAW Group. Subscribers of H shares include the MOF, HSBC Holdings<0005>, the NSSF, Best Investment Corp, China Life Insurance (Overseas) Co and New China Life Insurance Co<601336><1336>.

The MOF plans to spend RMB 15 billion to subscribe to 2.53 billion A shares and 759 million H shares to raise its shareholding in the bank slightly to 26.53%. HSBC Holdings will spend HK$13.3 billion to buy 2.36 billion H shares to maintain its stake in the bank at 19.03%. In addition, the NSSF will spend RMB 15 billion to purchase 1.88 billion A shares and 1.41 billion H shares to increase its ownership in the lender to 13.88% from 11.36%.

The private placement is subject to approval from the bank's shareholders, the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

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