The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the country's largest lender, had a 6.13 billion yuan loan exposure to the firm at the centre of a high-profile corruption scandal that claimed the job of the Shanghai party chief this week. However, the Beijing-based bank, which has just launched the pre-marketing for the world's largest initial public offering, denied any irregularities in the loan approval process. 'We have conducted a review of our business transactions with Fuxi Investments and its affiliates,' it said in a preliminary listing document posted on the Hong Kong stock exchange's website. 'Based on the results of our review to date, we have not identified any misconduct or unlawful activities on the part of our bank. We will continue to monitor the credit quality of the foregoing project loans.' ICBC said its Shanghai branch approved a 2.19 billion yuan loan to Shanghai-Hangzhou Expressway in 2001 and a 3.24 billion yuan loan to Jiading-Jinshan Expressway in 2003 before Fuxi bought the two state-controlled project companies. At the end of August, 6.13 billion yuan of the loan principal and interests remained outstanding, representing 0.18 per cent of ICBC's 3.46 trillion yuan loan book at the end of June. ICBC also said it underwrote a one billion yuan sale of domestic short-term commercial papers by Fuxi in March. Fuxi, controlled by mainland tycoon Zhang Rongkun, is being probed on the mainland for misappropriating Shanghai's social security fund. The misappropriated fund helped Mr Zhang finance a series of business acquisitions. The investigation is part of a corruption scandal that has implicated Shanghai government officials and business executives, leading to the sacking of Chen Liangyu, Shanghai's party boss, on Monday. ICBC officials yesterday declined to comment on the chance of recovering the loans while people close to the bank did not expect a tangible financial impact. The bank is pre-marketing 35.4 billion H shares and 13 billion A shares that may raise US$19 billion in the first simultaneous Shanghai and Hong Kong listing. ICBC, which is selling 14.8 per cent of its enlarged share capital before the offers are expanded by up to 15 per cent to meet demand, has earmarked HK$29.2 billion worth of H shares for 14 mainland, Hong Kong and international corporate investors whose shares will be locked up for a year after the listing. Kuwait Investment Authority has agreed to buy HK$5.6 billion worth of shares and Qatar Investment Authority HK$1.6 billion. China Life Insurance will buy HK$2 billion with its mainland parent taking HK$4.4 billion. Singapore's GIC Direct Investments and United Overseas Bank have signed on for HK$2.8 billion and HK$1.6 billion. Eight other corporate investors including Hutchison Whampoa and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises will each buy HK$800 million to HK$1.6 billion worth of shares. Separately, sources said yesterday ICBC has been negotiating to take a majority stake in Bank Halim Indonesia in the past one to two years to expand in Southeast Asia.