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China Minsheng Banking shareholder boosts stake ahead of board election

Chinese billionaire Shi Yuzhu has increased his shareholding in China Minsheng Banking Corp. Ltd. ahead of a revamp of the bank's board of directors, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 14.

A Hong Kong stock exchange filing showed that Shi boosted his stake in the bank to 9.59% from 1.02% in early December. Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. is the bank's biggest shareholder.

Shi's move came ahead of an election of directors to the bank's board after a three-year term ended in April 2015, Bloomberg reported. In July 2016, media speculation surfaced about a possible power struggle between the bank's shareholders. The rumor emerged after Vice Chairman Lu Zhiqiang bought around US$1.1 billion of additional shares in the bank. Lu had since dismissed the speculation.

Earlier in June, China Minsheng Banking shareholders Orient Group Inc. and Huaxia Life Insurance Co. Ltd. agreed to act in concert to boost their influence in the company.

Jonathan Koh, UOB Kay Hian analyst, told Bloomberg that the bank's share price could increase if Shi has been purchasing the bank's shares from the market.