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Kuwait Wealth Fund to Invest $800 Mln in AgriBank IPO

Kuwait Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, will invest $800 million in the initial public offering of the Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., Kuwaiti Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shimali said.

“It’s a long-term investment,” al-Shimali told reporters today in parliament when asked about Agricultural Bank’s IPO.

Kuwait Investment Authority offered as much as $1 billion, a figure that was reduced to $800 million, a person familiar with the transaction said yesterday, declining to be identified because the talks are private.

Qatar Investment Authority also agreed to invest $2.8 billion in Agricultural Bank, China’s largest lender by number of customers, two people with knowledge of the matter said on June 20. The Chinese lender has allocated more than $5 billion for corporate investors such as QIA in the Hong Kong part of its IPO, the people said.

Agricultural Bank is seeking to raise as much as $15 billion in Hong Kong as part of what may be the world’s largest IPO, according to an e-mail sent to investors last week. The Beijing-based lender may sell as much as $28 billion of stock in Hong Kong and Shanghai combined, exceeding the $22 billion sale by Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. in 2006.

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