AgBank of China says HK IPO 5.87 times oversubscribed

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Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), the last of the country's largest four banks to go public, said Thursday its shares offered under the Hong Kong public offering had been 5.87 times oversubscribed.

A total of "117,176 valid applications have been received pursuant to the Hong Kong Public Offering for a total of 7,461,652, 000 Hong Kong Offer Shares, equivalent to approximately 5.87 times of the total number of 1,270,590,000 Hong Kong Offer Shares initially available for subscription under the Hong Kong Public Offering," the Beijing-based bank said in a statement filed with the Hong Kong stock exchange.

ABC, whose shares would debut in Hong Kong on Friday, did not say whether it would exercise an over-allotment option.

In a statement released last week, the bank said the number of H shares being offered in the global offering may be increased by up to an aggregate of 3.81 billion additional H shares through the exercise of the over-allotment option.

ABC had said it planned to sell 25.41 billion shares in Hong Kong at 3.2 HK dollars (42 U.S. cents) per share.

ABC was making a dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong to replenish its capital base after a lending spree last year.

On Thursday, ABC shares debuted in Shanghai with a slight rise in a declining market. ABC shares closed at 2.7 yuan (40 U.S. cents) on its first day of trading in Shanghai, up 0.75 percent, or 0.02 yuan from its initial public offering (IPO) price.

According to the IPO prospectus, the lender could raise up to 22.1 billion U.S. dollars if an over-allotment option were exercised to expand the deal by 15 percent, making it the world's largest IPO ever.

The previous record was held by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's largest lender, which garnered 21.9 billion U.S. dollar IPO in 2006.

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