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Bank of China Appoints New COO

May 21, 2004

HONG KONG (AP) _ The Bank of China’s Hong Kong unit announced Friday it has picked a veteran banker as its chief operating officer, a position created to help rebuild the bank’s image following a loan scandal linked to Chinese tycoon Zhou Zhengyi.

Raymond Lee was named as the new chief operating officer at BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) Ltd. He has previously worked at CITIC Ka Wah Bank and Bank of New York Co.

BOC Hong Kong’s chief executive He Guangbei said Lee was the first outsider to be recruited for a senior position at the bank.

The creation of the chief operating officer position was part of measures recommended by an independent panel last year to help restore the bank’s image after a scandal emerged over a loan to Shanghai property developer Zhou.

Chinese authorities have arrested Zhou for fraud and stock manipulation.

The panel, which investigated the scandal, criticized then chief executive Liu Jinbao and another bank official for exercising bad judgment when granting the 1.77 billion Hong Kong dollar ($226.9 million) loan.

Liu was dismissed from his post and is being investigated by mainland authorities.

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