China has issued low mintage brilliant uncirculated Panda coins to commemorate the Initial Public Offering of stock in the Agricultural Bank of China. In early July, the Agricultural Bank of China sold $19.2 billion of stock in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The sale valued the Agricultural Bank at about $128 billion — more than Citigroup or Goldman Sachs. The bank, created in 1979, is China’s biggest lender, with 320 million retail customers, 2.7 million corporate clients, nearly 24,000 branches and $1 trillion in deposits. The Agricultural Bank of China has a lock on 800 million members of farm families, as well as a strong position in industrial areas; most other China banks are primarily based in urban areas.
The Agricultural Bank I.P.O. was heavily subscribed, in part because it is believed that the government is locked into ensuring the bank’s success.