AgriBank Gains After Funds Retain Stakes Following End to Lockup

Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (1288) rose to the highest in almost two weeks in Hong Kong after the July 16 expiry of a lockup period for shares held by some of its biggest investors didn’t immediately lead to a sell-down.

The nation’s third-largest lender by market value climbed 3.3 percent to HK$4.08 as of 3:39 p.m. in Hong Kong trading, while the benchmark Hang Seng index fell 0.5 percent. The gains helped erase Agricultural Bank’s 3.4 percent loss in the two weeks ended July 15.

A 12-month lockup period on 22 percent of Agricultural Bank’s Hong Kong-listed shares, valued at about HK$28 billion ($3.6 billion) and held by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, expired last week. Similar restrictions on stakes in the Beijing-based bank that are owned by Kuwait Investment Authority and Standard Charted Plc also ended.

“Shareholders were worried cornerstone investors would trim their stakes,” said May Yan, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Barclays Capital. “Since the stakes remain today, the shares have risen again.”

Yao Chunlei, a press official at Agricultural Bank in Beijing, declined to immediately comment.

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