China bank lashes out at U.S. regulator's comments
October 19 2005
BEIJING, Oct 19 (Reuters) - China Construction Bank, one of the country's biggest banks on the brink of a massive share flotation, lashed out at the U.S. securities regulator for his remarks on its listing preparations.
Construction Bank [CCB.UL], which will start trading on Oct. 27 in the largest share offering globally so far this year, said that comments by chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Christopher Cox were "inappropriate" and "irresponsible". Cox said on the sidelines of a Group of 20 meeting that the reason why the bank did not list on the New York Stock Exchange was because "it couldn't meet the NYSE regulatory requirements."
"As a result, some of the questions that are being asked ... about the health of CCB's balance sheet, about management, about what percentage of its loans will become non-performing loom large and the question is where will it be in a year," he said. Construction Bank said on its Web site it had never applied to list in the United States. "Whether or not we met regulatory standards of another country is irrelevant as we chose to list in Hong Kong," it said.
U.S. officials including Treasury Secretary John Snow and Cox have been in China to urge wider access to the country's financial markets as a way to speed up its shift to a market economy.