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Bank of China Hong Kong 's

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Bank of China Hong Kong ’s

Initial Public Offering


Hugh Thomas

Associate Professor of Finance

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Draft of April 28, 2003

Accepted for publication in Journal of Financial Education. I am grateful to participants at the North American Case Research Institute 2002 conference in Banff, Canada, for their helpful comments and for research assistance from Wang Zhiqiang and Xu Zhi in preparing some tables. Please contact me at should you find any errors in the case.

Bank of China Hong Kong’s Initial Public Offering


China’s entry into WTO has set a deadline on opening its financial services sector to foreign competition. Privatization is one strategy to help modernize the sector. The first bank in line for privatization is the Hong Kong commercial banking subsidiary of Bank of China (BOC), Bank of China Hong Kong (BOCHK), a subsidiary recently formed from the merged Hong Kong interests of BOC. Foreign investment and commercial bankers are meeting in January 2002 with BOC and BOCHK to negotiate the initial public offering (IPO) of BOCHK. But as the negotiations to IPO commence, a scandal erupts that adversely impacts the timing or pricing of the transaction.

Students must decide the timing, number of shares, pricing, place of issue, use of proceeds and strategic investors and negotiate in alliance and competition with others. They analyze financial statements, strategy, industry position and equity valuation in the context of an international banking IPO.

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