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In the late 1970s legendary businessman and statesman Mr Rong Yiren established the China International Trust and Investment Corporation on instructions of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. It had a registered capital of RMB600 million. In the 1980s and 1990s CITIC was a key window on China for both foreign and domestic investment, and a pioneer in Chinese overseas investment. It was the Chinese partner of choice for many foreign companies, and a leader in finance industry issuing China's first foreign currency bond, in Yen in 1982, listing CITIC Pacific in 1991 and issuing the first Chinese Yankee bond in 1993.

In December 2011, CITIC Limited was incorporated as a joint stock limited company in China, 100% owned by CITIC Group Corporation which itself is owned by the Ministry of Finance.

In August 2014, the Hong Kong listed subsidiary of CITIC Group - CITIC Pacific - acquired 100% of CITIC Limited from CITIC Group, and CITIC Pacific was then renamed CITIC Limited. CITIC Limited is now 58% owned by CITIC Group and the rest is held by independent shareholders. It is one of the largest companies in the Hang Seng Index.

For the first time in its history, investors small and large have direct access to the shares of China's largest, most prestigious, and pioneering conglomerate business through the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

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