China's CITIC Says It Has Not Talked with Bear Stearns


China's CITIC Bank said on Thursday it had held no talks with Bear Stearns about possibly buying into the Wall Street brokerage and currently had no intention of doing so.

"Up to this point, our company has not held any talks with Bear Stearns or a related party about an equity stake purchase, nor does it have any such intention or agreement," it said in a statement published in the Shanghai Securities News.

"Up to this point, our company has no plan to purchase Bear Stearns equity, and we state that this will remain the case for at least three months," it added.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission's vice-chairman, Jiang Dingzhi, on Tuesday cited CITIC Bank's interest in buying into Bear Stearns as he listed Chinese banks' acquisitions and investments in overseas financial institutions.

His comments were the first official confirmation of media reports that the state-run Chinese bank was a potential suitor for the smallest of Wall Street's five big independent brokerages.

Bear Stearns was hit hard by the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis and Chief Executive James Cayne had said earlier this month it would consider selling a stake to an investor from China of the Middle East.

New York Senator Charles Schumer, a key player in the U.S. congress on financial issues, indicated support on Wednesday for a possible purchase of a Bear Stearns stake by a Chinese bank, stating that it would help to keep the brokerage independent.