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State enterprises power China post bank IPO amid chilly retail reception

Li Guohua, left, chairman of Postal Savings Bank of China, rings in the institution's first session on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

HONG KONG -- Postal Savings Bank of China's Hong Kong debut Sept. 28 drew little interest from retail investors despite being the world's largest listing this year, leaving Chinese state companies to snap up more than 75% of the shares on offer.

PSBC is ubiquitous in China, with around 40,000 branches nationwide. Though the bank's 7.7 trillion yuan ($1.15 trillion) in assets makes it less than half the size of China's big four state-owned commercial banks, PSBC's initial public offering last month brought in 56.6 billion Hong Kong dollars ($7.29 billion). The IPO was the largest by any Chinese company since Alibaba Group Holding listed in 2014. Brokerages are thought to have made at least $100 million in fees from the debut.

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