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AgriBank Gains After Funds Retain Stakes Following End to Lockup

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July 18 (Bloomberg) -- Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. 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.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Emma Dong in Beijing at edong10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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