Bank Of China Shares Halted On $9Bn Rights Offering Announcement, As Bank Urgently Needs To Replenish Capital

Those China CDS are looking ever more attractive. Earlier today, Bank of China, Asia’s third- largest lender by market value, announced it plans to raise as much as 60 billion yuan ($8.9 billion) in a rights offer to replenish capital. Bloomberg reports: "The lender will sell 1.1 shares for every 10 held, or as many as 19.56 billion shares in Shanghai and 8.36 billion in Hong Kong, a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange showed today." This latest equity offering in a region already drowning in capital raises was enough to halt trading in BOC shares until July 5 as the response to it would hardly be considered favorable. A sale by Bank of China would “damage market sentiment and banking shares further because we’ve already been flooded by share offerings,” Tang Yayun, a Shanghai-based analyst at Northeast Securities Co., said before the announcement. “This is a surprise given that they just completed a bond sale.” The bolded sentence is critical as it merely implies that the rot from the trillions in bad loans made to assorted house flippers, tulip sniffers, and opium den casino dwellers are finally coming home to roost. Indeed, Bank of China's capital adequacy ratio fell to 11.09 percent as of March 31, below the minimum 11.5 percent required according to the China Banking Regulatory Commission. The next wave of the solvency crisis tsunami has now officially made landfall in China.

More from Bloomberg:

Bank of China’s Hong Kong-listed shares were halted from trading today pending the announcement, and will resume on July 5, the statement said. In Shanghai, the stock was suspended in the afternoon. Bank of China has fallen 5.5 percent this year in Hong Kong to HK$3.97, outperforming the 9 percent drop in the benchmark Hang Seng Index. The stock has lost 21 percent in Shanghai to close at 3.40 yuan today.

The Hong Kong portion of the rights offer will be “fully underwritten,” the bank said in the statement, which didn’t include details about the underwriters. The share sale will need to be approved by investors and regulators including the China Banking Regulatory Commission and China Securities Regulatory Commission, it said.

In March, Bank of China won investor approval to sell shares equivalent to as much as 20 percent of outstanding stock in Hong Kong or Shanghai, or in both markets. President Li Lihui told investors in January the bank favored a Hong Kong sale.