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ABC likely to cut 14,500 branches
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According to an inside source, the latest drafted plan for the Agricultural Bank of China's (ABC) stock rights reform suggests that the bank eliminate 14,500 branches to facilitate a government bailout. But ABC has not verified the plan. Financial experts also noted that this plan would not be easy to be put into practice.

It is said that the 14,500 branches mentioned in the plan are mainly located in rural areas, accounting for more than half of the bank's 24,937 branches.

If the plan were carried out, ABC would cut 11 billion yuan in annual costs and need less financial help from the government. Then the bank could concentrate its operation on China's advanced regions and hub cities. But the State Council expects the ABC to focus on offering services to rural areas. So it is very hard to say if this kind of plan can be implemented. 

For more details, please read the full story in Chinese. (

( October 12, 2007)


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