Bank of China

Change of guard likely to start bank reform

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 October, 2007, 12:00am

People's Bank of China vice-governor Su Ning is likely to replace Chen Yuan as head of the China Development Bank (CDB) to start the delayed restructuring of the state-owned policy lender, according to mainland media.

The central bank's restructuring proposal, which would see the CDB become a fully commercial bank, had been approved by top government officials and would start soon after Mr Su, 60, took office, the Economic Observer reported yesterday, citing an unnamed source.

But it did not disclose when Mr Su would join CDB or what Mr Chen, 62, would do next. Reuters reported yesterday that he is a candidate for central bank governor, replacing Zhou Xiaochuan , who is expected to be moved to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Mr Chen, the son of Chen Yun , a close aide of former leader Deng Xiaoping , has made efforts to transform the policy lender into a commercial bank over the past nine years.

CDB, which has been a part owner of British bank Barclays since July, provides loans to the mainland's largest infrastructure projects and offers financial aid for industrial giants to acquire overseas projects.

Under the restructuring proposal it would continue with its policy-lending business, but not be confined to that area, the report said, although retail banking would be off limits at first. The ultimate goal, it said, was a listing, which would be two or three years away.

Mr Su, 60, is head of the central bank's Shanghai branch.

Han Meng , an economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said age was an important factor in the government's consideration of personnel reshuffle.

'We will see more young leaders in various departments as it is a policy adopted by the central government, so there's no exception in the important financial sector,' Mr Han said.