Singapore's Temasek Holdings had signed an agreement with China¡¯s Central Huijin Investment to buy a 5.1 percent stake in the China Construction Bank for US$1.4 billion, the Caijing magazine reported.
The influential financial magazine did not disclose its source for the report, though it said an agreement was signed late Friday.
Central Huijin holds shares in the State-run commercial bank on behalf of the central bank.
China Construction Bank would seek up to three strategic investors, its chairman was quoted as saying Friday, after the bank agreed to sell the stake to Bank of America.
China Construction Bank, China¡¯s third-largest lender, was in talks with potential investors, although Bank of America would remain its top strategic investor, the China Securities Journal quoted Chairman Guo Shuqing as saying.
Bank of America has an option to lift its holdings in China Construction Bank, which is planning a US$5 billion overseas share listing this year, over the next five-and-a-half years to 19.9 percent.
Listing of China Construction Bank is seen as a key step in the ongoing restructuring of China¡¯s banking sector.
China Construction Bank had filed a preliminary application with the Hong Kong stock exchange for what is likely to be the second-biggest international public offering by a mainland Chinese company in history, reported the South China Morning Post on Friday, quoting market sources.
The Beijing-based lender, China¡¯s third-largest commercial bank by assets, is understood to be selling 15 percent of its shares to raise about US$5 billion before listing on the Hong Kong exchange later this year, the report says.
In late 2003, the government gave China Construction Bank a US$22.5 billion bailout, part of a vast effort to revamp the country¡¯s financial system.
(Source: Shenzhen Daily/Agencies)