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Pudong Bank halts trade during sales talks

SHANGHAI Pudong Development Bank halted trading today for talks to bringing in a strategic investor, which Guotai Jun'an Securities Co said was China Mobile.

Pudong Bank will post more details and resume trading by March 4, the lender said in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange today.

"Pudong Bank's halt of trading is mainly due to its talks with China Mobile on a shares sales plan," Wu Yonggang, a Guotai Jun'an Securities Co analyst, said in a note today.

The bank, partly owned by Citigroup Inc, plans to issue 2.2 billion shares to China Mobile through a private placement which can rake in 40 billion yuan (US$5.86 billion), Wu said.

The share sales plan marks the latest efforts of banks to replenish capital after credit rose sharply in 2009.

The placement will help boost Pudong Bank's tier-1 capital adequacy ratio by 4 percentage points to 10 percent, Wu estimated.

The bank's capital adequacy ratio, the main gauge of banks' financial strength will increase shortly to 14 percent to support the bank's stable expansion in three years, he said.


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