ABC to go on with world's biggest IPO

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Agricultural Bank of China, aiming for the world's largest-ever initial public offering, will press ahead with its plans despite weak market sentiment, one of its underwriters said on Saturday.

Market jitters will probably delay the launch of an international board in Shanghai for the trading of overseas firms' shares, Li Jiange, chairman of China International Capital Corp, told reporters on the sidelines of a forum.

But when asked whether ABC might postpone its dual listing, which could be as big as US$30 billion, in Hong Kong and Shanghai, he said: "I think there will be no impact."

Shares in both Hong Kong and Shanghai just finished their worst week in months, battered by worries about Greek debt as well as government's tightening measures to cool the economy, particularly the real estate sector.

CICC, China's biggest investment bank, is an underwriter for the bank's IPO, as well as a listing by China Everbright Bank.

A delayed launch for the international board would mark the first set-back for the Chinese mainland's financial markets in the wake of the recent turmoil.

Hong Kong has already been hit, with conglomerate Swire Pacific last week pulling a US$2.7 billion IPO set for that market.

A government official has said earlier China was on course to finalize regulations this year that would allow foreign companies to list in Shanghai.

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