Bank of Communications has a new president to replace Wang Mingquan, paving the way for his expected move to head government investment conglomerate China Everbright Holdings. Officials at the bank's headquarter in Shanghai yesterday said Fang Chengguo had assumed his office as president at the Bank of Communications, although they would not say whether Mr Wang had left for China Everbright. Mr Fang was the bank's deputy president. Decisions to appoint key officials at state banks, such as Bank of Communications, are made by the State Council. Officials at State Council Information Office would not comment on the issue yesterday. Talks emerged at the weekend that Beijing would appoint Mr Wang as successor to Liu Mingkang as the chairman at China Everbright, allowing Mr Liu to concentrate on his role as president of Bank of China (BOC), the mainland's largest foreign-exchange bank. The expected appointment has come as the BOC seeks to merge its 12 member banks as part of its restructuring plan to consolidate its banking operations in Hong Kong. The ultimate aim is to float the Hong Kong operations through a stock market listing by the end of this year. Mr Liu concurrently heads the BOC, Everbright Bank of China and China Everbright Holdings, which controls three Hong Kong-listed companies including flagship China Everbright. Pending Beijing's final decision, Mr Wang is expected to assume his new role in Hong Kong shortly. The announcement of Mr Wang's appointment will help remove uncertainty clouding the China Everbright group after former chairman Zhu Xiaohua was sacked by the central government in July last year for involvement in 'economic irregularities'. While Mr Liu was appointed to replace Mr Zhu, most see him as a transitional figure at China Everbright, which was once seen as the best connected company until Mr Zhu's downfall.