Bank of China
Bank of China is one of the big four state-owned commercial banks of the People's Republic of China – the other three are Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China. Bank of China was founded in 1912 to replace the Government Bank of Imperial China, and is the oldest bank in China. From its establishment until 1942, it issued banknotes on behalf of the Government of the Republic of China along with the "Big Four" banks of the period: the Central Bank of China, Farmers Bank of China and Bank of Communications. Although it initially functioned as the Chinese central bank, in 1928 the Central Bank of China replaced it in that role. Subsequently, BOC became a purely commercial bank.
Beijing nod sought to boost $2b issue
The Bank of China (BOC) is awaiting approval from its Beijing headquarters to increase the size of its $2 billion note issue after a huge response from potential investors.
According to a circular issued by China's State Administration of Exchange Control, which took effect in June, the amount raised from debt issues by mainland bank overseas branches has to be reported to the headquarters.
The bank's original issue of a five-year floating rate certificate of deposit attracted subscriptions of $9 billion from more than 60 institutions.
Banking sources believe the issue will at least be doubled, although a $5 billion total has not been ruled out.
A BOC spokesman said the arranger, China Development Finance Company, was discussing the final size of the offering with BOC but declined to comment on when a decision would be made.
It is believed the delay was caused by the BOC having to report to its headquarters for approval.
If the issue surpasses Hongkong Bank's $4.75 billion issue in May, it will take the title for the largest such fund raising in the territory The feverish response to the BOC offering was despite a medium Baa1 rating assigned by Moody's Investors Service. BOC decided to cancel an issue last year after being downgraded by Moody's.
The capital market has been expecting another issue after the change of regulations of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which recognises ratings from more international agencies for the liquidity adjustment facility.