Suning Shares Surge on China Private Bank Report: Shenzhen Mover

Suning Commerce Group Co. surged to a two-year high on speculation it may be awarded a private bank license as China’s policy makers prepare to open the financial sector to more companies that aren’t state-owned.

The retailer of electronics and home appliances gained by the 10 percent daily limit in Shenzhen to 12.01 yuan, the highest close since August 2011. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.3 percent. The shares resumed trading after a Sept. 19 halt.

Chinese authorities may approve the set up of a new private bank before March of next year, the 21st Century Business Herald reported today, citing a draft plan submitted to the nation’s banking regulator for approval. Suning’s shares have risen 50 percent since the company, based in the eastern city of Nanjing, said Aug. 23 it had submitted preliminary plans to relevant government departments to set up a bank.

A Suning press officer, who declined to be identified because of the company’s rules, said the retailer had no comment beyond on its Aug. 23 statement.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, said July 5 it would encourage private investment in financial institutions, including banks, leasing firms and consumer finance companies.

Tencent Holdings Ltd., China’s largest Internet company by market value, is among those that have applied to start a banking business, Shanghai Securities News reported Sept. 13. Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., has also pledged to “stir things up” in banking.

— With assistance by Aipeng Soo

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