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Agricultural Bank of China has unveiled plans for what could be the largest initial public offering ever, a deal worth up to US$30bn. Meanwhile, all four big listed mainland banks have recently detailed how they want to raise additional equity capital, which taken together could amount to US$46bn.
A year-long surge in lending has weakened capital ratios at China’s largest banks. As the controlling owner of all of them, the government could fix this in a dramatic way by injecting capital. But it favours the solution, which is friendlier to markets and minority investors, of having them issue fresh equity. There are now increasing doubts about whether investors have an appetite for all these new shares.
Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “Share-sale tsunami” (May 7th)