Agricultural Bank's IPO prospectus to be released

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China's securities regulator plans to release long-awaited documents for the Agricultural Bank of China's roughly US$30 billion initial public offering today, according to sources, a sign the deal is on track for a listing approval hearing next week.

Sources said the China Securities Regulatory Commission will release the Agricultural Bank's preliminary prospectus late today, which would offer key financial information on the company, not seen since the bank's year-end report in 2008.

The Beijing-based lender is planning to seek Shanghai and Hong Kong listing committee approval on June 10, sources say. The bank is expected to begin premarketing the deal in next week, with a tentative A-share and H-share listing date of July 15 and 16, according to sources.

A company spokesman was not available for comment.

In an A-share draft prospectus, the issuer normally states the number of shares it is going to offer in Shanghai, and sometimes will state Hong Kong H-shares as well.

Investors looking to buy into the world's largest IPO will be allowed to soak up financial details in the prospectus, with the exception of IPO price and valuation.

The Agricultural Bank is going public to complete China's mission of listing its top banks, and to raise money at a time when all China's major financial groups are boosting capital ratios after a lending spree.

The lender had US$7.1 trillion in assets as of 2008, its last public financial filing.

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