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Pension fund to invest in 2 banks

CHINA'S national pension fund has received approval from the State Council to invest in China Development Bank and the Agricultural Bank of China as strategic investors.

The National Council for Social Security Fund will participate in the restructuring of the two lenders to prepare them for initial public offerings, according to a statement on its Website on Wednesday.

ABC is expected to spend at least one year preparing for its stock listing on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges, its vice president, Pan Gongsheng, said in an earlier report.

The bank is the last of the big four state-owned banks to be restructured. The government spent US$60 billion bailing out the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China and China Construction Bank in a three-step restructuring plan - bailout, attract strategic investors and listing.

The Chinese pension fund had invested 10 billion yuan (US$1.46 billion) each in the three lenders before their IPOs.

The fund has to seek higher-yielding investments to cater to the old-age needs of China's 1.3 billion people. Wang Zhongmin, deputy director of the council, has previously said the fund's ideal size should be more than 2 trillion yuan compared with 562.5 billion yuan by the end of last year.

The fund has invested in infrastructure projects such as the Shanghai-Beijing high-speed railway.


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