2008-03-04 19:50:31 Xinhua English
BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China will continue deepening reform of the banking industry this year, with focuses on the introduction of a shareholding system in the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) and the reform of the China Development Bank (CDB), Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday.
"We will speed up reform of the financial system and strengthen financial oversight," said Wen while delivering a government work report at the First Session of the 11th National People's Congress, the top legislature.
In early February, ABC spokesman Zhou Qingyu said the bank would go public "at an appropriate time" after it finishes the financial restructuring, as well as incorporation, and introduces strategic investors.
"It could be any time in the next three years," he said.
The bank reported a profit of 96 billion yuan (about 13.3 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up 64 percent from 2006.
In 2007, ABC's deposit business increased 549.7 billion yuan, while its loan business increased 330.4 billion yuan. It also cleared 57.4 billion yuan in bad loans.