China bank in massive share sale

BANK of China is planning to raise tens of billions of dollars in capital to shore up its balance sheet after a lending binge.

The bank said it will seek shareholder approval for a mandate to sell new shares worth no more than 20 per cent of its existing Hong Kong and Shanghai listed shares – a figure of up to $30bn (£18.62bn)
The Beijing-based bank also said it plans to issue as much as 40bn yuan (£3.6bn) of bonds convertible into Class A shares, which are traded on China’s domestic markets.

In a statement posted on its website, Bank of China said the plan to raise capital has been approved by the board but requires approval from shareholders, who are expected to meet in March to vote on the plan.

“To achieve a long-term development strategy and meet the increasingly strict regulatory requirements… Bank of China needs to replenish its capital in a timely manner to improve its overall competitiveness, support a steady profit growth and maximise shareholders’ interests,” the bank said.
China’s banks made 9.59 trillion yuan in new loans last year – sparking concern some would turn bad.