BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) — The Bank of China (BOC), one of China’s big-four banks, announced on Tuesday evening it will issue preference shares worth no more than 60 billion yuan (9.73 billion U.S. dollars) in the domestic market to replenish its tier one capital.

The bank is the third banking institution to release an issuance plan, following the Agricultural Bank of China and SPD Bank, after the country’s securities regulator allowed commercial banks to issue preference shares to raise funds on April 18.

The non-public issuance will not exceed 600 million shares with face value of 100 yuan, according to the bank’s announcement filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The funds raised will be used to improve the tier-one capital adequacy ratio and further strengthen the bank’s capital structure, the BOC said.

In addition to the issuance, preference shares of no more than 40 billion yuan will be issued independently in the offshore market.

The plan is still awaiting approval from the general meeting of shareholders and is subject to reviews of the China Banking Regulatory Commission and China Securities Regulatory Commission.

In 2013, net profits of the BOC increased 12.35 percent year on year to 163.47 billion yuan, with its capital adequacy ratio at 12.46 percent.

Preference shares, along with common shares, are the two primary types of stocks that companies offer to investors. Preference share holders have priority rights over ordinary share holders in relation to distribution of profits and residual assets.

China announced on March 21 that it would launch a pilot program allowing eligible listed and unlisted public companies to issue preference shares in a bid to open up additional financing channels and provide more investment instruments.