Bank of East Asia Declares Interest in Shanghai Listing

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SHANGHAI, Aug. 14 – Hong Kong’s third largest bank, the Bank of East Asia has declared interest in listing in Shanghai following news earlier this week that HSBC is also set to list in the city next year.

BEA’s deputy chief executive, Brian Li, made the comments yesterday in Taiwan following a ceremony to rename the banks newly acquired asset management business from AIG.

BEA’s shares climbed 3.19 percent on the news yesterday. The bank was formed in 1918 and has since grown to a HK$19.4 billion market capitalization, with consolidated assets of US$50.85 billion. It is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as BEA.

The Bank of East Asia has 91 retail branches in Hong Kong, as well as 60 in mainland China and around 30 in the United States, Canada and Britain. Worldwide, the bank employs more than 10,800 people.

In 1995, BEA acquired the United Chinese Bank, which was fully merged with the bank by 2001. In 2000, it acquired First Pacific Bank. On May 2008, the bank became the first foreign bank to issue RMB-denominated debit cards in mainland China, taking advantage of the recent removal of a key restriction on foreign banks’ retail business in the country.