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London Exchange Eyes Chinese Banks

London Stock Exchange held talks with Chinese banks seeking to sell shares

London Stock Exchange held talks with Chinese banks seeking to sell shares for the first time, to try and persuade them to list on Europe?s third-largest exchange by market value.

The Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications and China Minsheng Banking Corp. are planning initial public offerings as early as this year in preparation for increased foreign competition starting December 2006.

Banking reforms in China are making progress to the point where a few banks are ready to go international, said London Stock Exchange chairman Chris Gibson-Smith, who is in Beijing to meet companies and regulators.

The London Stock Exchange, which charges companies four percent of what?s raised in their IPOs, is trying to overcome a decline in the number of data terminals and share sales by luring foreign companies to trade and list in London.