Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Agriculture Bank of China Goes Public

Last summer's Agricultural Bank of China initial public offering briefly created something that was unthinkable a decade ago: Communist China had produced Wall Street's largest IPO ever. (The GM IPO later topped it.) The deal raised $22 billion, and valued the financial institution at nearly $100 billion, making it among the most valuable banks in the world. Ag Bank's IPO was another symbol of China's prosperity. Ag Bank isn't even China's largest financial institution by market capitalization. It ranks third. Xiang Junbo, an award-winning scriptwriter and war hero, heads the bank. Ag Bank has 24,000 branches, 441,000 employees and 320 million customers — more than the population of the U.S.