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Chinese Sovereign Wealth Fund Boosts Stakes in Nation’s Lenders

Central Huijin Investment Ltd., a unit of China’s sovereign wealth funds, increased its stakes in the nation’s four biggest banks last week.

Central Huijin bought 19.3 million yuan-denominated A shares in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., 24.5 million in China Construction Bank Corp., 18.5 million in Bank of China Ltd. and 42.9 million in Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. on June 13, the four lenders said in separate exchange statements yesterday. Central Huijin will continue to buy shares in the banks in the following six months, according to the statements.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has retreated 11 percent from this year’s high set on Feb. 6 amid concern the economic recovery will falter. Mainland-traded shares of AgriBank have dropped 4.6 percent this year while those of the other three biggest banks are virtually unchanged.

Central Huijin also raised its holdings in New China Life Insurance Co. and China Everbright Bank Co. last week. It last increased the stakes in the biggest banks including ICBC and Bank of China in April.

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