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(From The Standard)
Byline: Louis Beckerling
The mainland parent of Bank of China (HK) cashed in just over one billion shares in its Hong Kong-listed subsidiary yesterday, selling its stake down from 76 per cent to 66 per cent, and raising an estimated US$1.84 billion (HK$14.35 billion) in the process.
The profit booked from the sale will allow Bank of China (BOC), which is earmarked for a global listing by 2005, to raise the volume of bad loans it can afford to write off against its boosted profit result _ which in turn will help haul down its non-performing loan (NPL) ratio.
But with gross bad loans of 387.5 billion yuan (HK$363.55 billion), and an NPL ratio last …