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Shares in the Agricultural Bank of China rose 3 quarters of a percent on their first trading day, on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. It's the last of China's big four state-owned commercial banks, to be listed on the market.
A long awaited listing. AgBank shares held steady in their trading debut on Thursday. It comes after the bank raised more than 22 billion US dollars in a record-setting initial public offering, despite the global crisis and concern about its profitability. At the listing ceremony, bank executives expressed their satisfaction.
Xiang Junbo, Chairman of Agricultural Bank of China said "Today is destined to be a day the world will pay close attention to. The Agricultural Bank of China for the first time issued A-share and started trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Its IPO in Shanghai and Hong Kong is the last action of the reform of the four largest state-owned commercial banks."
AgBank failed to enjoy the double-digit first day bounce, which some new Chinese listings usually get. But analysts say they cared more about how the overall stock market would perform after such a massive listing, rather than just Agbank's own price.
Majot Teng, Chief Analyst of Everbright Securities said "So we feel that what we are paying attention to is not just the simple point of the rise or fall of the stock price of the bank. More importantly, we are paying attention to the effects of the listing of such a major stock because it is practically looking to absorb funds from the secondary market."
Investors around the country watched the debut of the last of China's "Big Four" lenders to go public closely. They were looking for signs of whether the beleaguered stock market might find relief after shedding about a fourth of its value so far this year. On Friday, Agbank will see its share debut in Hong Kong.