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Green light for CCBC to sell bonds

CHINA Construction Bank Corp, the nation's second-largest lender, said it received regulatory approval to raise as much as 40 billion yuan (US$5.8 billion) selling subordinated bonds to boost capital.

The bond sale, endorsed by shareholders in June, was approved by the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the People's Bank of China, the Beijing-based bank said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday.

China Construction Bank will sell bonds to institutional investors on the domestic market, according to the statement, scrapping an earlier plan to issue up to 5 billion yuan in Hong Kong as part of the sale.

China is urging domestic lenders to strengthen capital and guard against credit risks as the economy cools. The average capital adequacy ratio of Chinese banks climbed to 8.4 percent in 2007, above the regulatory minimum for the first time. China Construction Bank's capital adequacy ratio stood at 12.1 percent as of September 30, down 0.48 percentage points from the beginning of last year. China Construction Bank plans to raise another 80 billion yuan of subordinated bonds over the next two years, it said on January 16. This sale is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.


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