Agricultural Bank of China denies media rumours of restructuring
by Richard Kilner
The Agricultural Bank of China yesterday denied rumours by some overseas media regarding its restructuring plans.
Zhou Qingyu, the bank’s spokesman, denounced the claims as false.
One of the reported rumours indicated that the bank had received the State Council’s approval for its restructuring plan, which would lead to the bank going public.
The report said that a number of tax breaks were integral to the plan, cuts which would be designed to enable the Agricultural Bank to offer low-margin services to China’s vast, and poor, rural sector.
Of the four largest banks under state control, only the Agricultural Bank of China has yet to undergo shareholding reform.
In 1997 the First National Financial Work Conference was held, after which China began the process of reforming its biggest four banks.
The Third National Financial Work Conference, which occurred this January, set out the guidelines for the bank. These include helping rural areas and farmers, operating on a commercial basis and going public when the time is right.
Zhou Qingyu has said that shareholding reform had gone smoothly but did not reveal whether the State Council or the cabinet had received the plans.
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