Agricultural Bank of China to start HK public offering

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Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) announced Tuesday in Hong Kong a total of over 25.4 billion Hong Kong shares comprising initially 12.7 billion shares in the Hong Kong public offering, which will start on Wednesday.

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ABC has set the price range for its Hong Kong IPO at 2.88 HK dollars to 3.48 HK dollars, said the bank at a press conference held in Hong Kong. Ninety-five percent of the global offering will initially be offered in the International Offering and 5 percent will initially be offered in the Hong Kong public offering.

The Hong Kong public offering is expected to close at noon on July 6, 2010. Trading of the bank's Hong Kong shares on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is expected to commence on July 16, 2010.

As said by the bank, the net proceeds from the global offering will be used to strengthen its capital base to support the ongoing growth of its business.

Xiang Junbo, Chairman of ABC Limited, said via a video connection from New York that he was confident about the prospects for rural finance in China.

With the massive urbanization drive being one of the core issues in China in the future, the bank has an advantage over others with its extensive rural networks, said Xiang. (One U.S. dollar equals 7.785 HK dollars)

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