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Bank of China, BoCom Change Top Managers as Reshuffle Continues

Bank of China Ltd., the nation’s fourth-biggest lender, appointed a new party secretary while Bank of Communications Co.’s chairman resigned as China changes managers at state-owned financial institutions.

Tian Guoli, former vice chairman of Citic Group, was listed on Beijing-based Bank of China’s website as party secretary yesterday, paving the way for him to become chairman. Hu Huaibang, who had led Bank of Communications since 2008, resigned due to “the demands of national financial work,” the country’s fifth-largest lender said in a statement yesterday.

The changes come as part of a once-a-decade leadership transition that also saw the breakup of the Railway Ministry, the nomination of a new finance minister and Zhou Xiaochuan’s reappointment as central bank governor. Tian, 52, will take over the only Chinese lender included in the Financial Stability Board’s global list of 28 systemically important financial institutions.

Hu, 57, will replace Chen Yuan as chairman of Beijing-based China Development Bank Corp., the world’s largest policy bank, two people familiar with the matter said on April 12. The 68-year-old Chen, son of one of Communist China’s founding fathers, will help set up a new development bank for the BRICS countries, which group China with Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, Caixin reported on April 11.

Overseas Operations

Founded in 1912 by Sun Yat-sen, known as the father of modern China, Bank of China held a monopoly on the nation’s foreign-exchange dealings and overseas banking from 1949 to 1994. The lender today has the biggest overseas operations of any Chinese bank, accounting for about 23 percent of its assets at the end of December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Under former Chairman Xiao Gang, who resigned on March 17 to become chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission, Bank of China steered through the global economic crisis to report record profits.

Tian has also served since May 2011 as chairman of China Citic Bank Corp., which last month reported a 0.7 percent gain in 2012 profit, the weakest among the nine mainland lenders traded in Hong Kong, as bad loan charges surged. At Bank of China, non-performing loans dropped to 0.95 percent of the total from 1 percent, helping profit beat estimates.

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