ICBC, the world's most valuable lender, may raise up to 45 billion yuan ($6.6 billion) through rights offers, becoming the latest Chinese bank to go to markets to replenish its capital, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China <1398.HK> <601398.SS> will propose that its shareholders get the right to buy between 0.3 to 0.5 shares per 10 shares held, the lowest ratio among the five Chinese banks that have already announced similar fundraising plans, the Hong Kong-based, Chinese-language Ming Pao reported.
The rights offers would be extended to shareholders of its Hong Kong-listed H-shares, as well as its Shanghai-listed A-Shares, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.
It added that plans were still preliminary and that ICBC could look at Bank of China's <3988.HK> <601988.SS> recent rights offer announcement as a reference.
Bank of China, the country's No. 4 lender, said last Friday it plans to raise up to 60 billion yuan through a rights offer, with shareholders getting the right to buy 1.1 shares per 10 shares held.
ICBC plans to issue 25 billion yuan in convertible bonds by September, sources close to that deal told Reuters in May. If the rights issue is fulfilled, the bank would raise 70 billion yuan altogether.
Officials at ICBC were not immediately available for comment.
Chinese banks are seeking to replenish funds depleted by last year's lending spree and to meet tighter capital adequacy ratios demanded by regulators.
(Reporting by Kelvin Soh; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)