The Financial Times reported this week that China's authorities are close to approving an injection of more than $30 billion into Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the country's largest lender, in a move that will pave the way for an overseas listing worth more than $10 billion.
A recapitalization and listing of ICBC would be an unprecedented test of Beijing's ability to reform its troubled financial sector. If approved, the plan would transform ICBC into a joint-stock company and overhaul its risk management, information technology and credit systems. This would be followed by an injection of state funds.
ICBC's IPO in Hong Kong and possibly New York will likely not take place before 2006.