MARKETS | Tony Chua, Hong Kong

BEA to use RMB bonds proceeds for expansion

Lender not keen on divesting 20% stake of Canadian subsidiary as it profit soared 78%.

Bank of East Asia, Hong Kong's fifth-largest lender, said that it plans to issue RMB-denominated bonds in Hong Kong and mainland China in a bid to fund its business expansion in mainland, said Adrian Li, a BEA senior executive, sources reported.

Li did not elaborate the bank's RMB bond issue plan. He revealed that BEA currently has no plan to sell the 20% stake in its Canadian subsidiary, according to a report in Address line 1 China Knowledge.

In January, BEC disposed of a 70% stake in the subsidiary to Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. The bank earlier said it will sell another 10% of the subsidiary to ICBC next year.

Last week, BEA announced that its net profit for the first half of this year surged 78% year on year to HK$2.08 billion due to increases in net interest income and fee-based income and a sharp decline in impairment losses.

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