People walk past the Bank of Communications at its central branch in the financial district of Hong Kong August 19, 2009. Photo: Reuters/Aaron

Compared to the ongoing aggressive ownership reform of China Unicom, it has been two years since the Bank of Communication (BOC) put forward its plan to introduce private capital and offer shares to its employees, who apparently are stuck without any progress, the 21st Business Herald reported.

A source close to the regulators said the banking industry is different from others and the company (BOC) is too big, so we avoid mentioning its ownership reform.

However, some progress was made by BOC’s subsidiary, BOCOM International Securities Limited — the company has gone public and was listed in the Hong Kong stock market this year, raising around 1.684 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Analysts think it’s difficult for any major shareholders in BOC to seek a greater say in the bank’s operation. Even if big private companies such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent were involved, they would be unlikely to play an important role in actual management, they said. Thus, introducing private capital at the subsidiary level is more viable.

By the end of June, the Finance Ministry, HKEX Group and HSBC are the three major shareholders of BOC, holding 20.4%, 20.13% and 18.7% respectively. The rest of its shareholders are state-owned companies.