Shares of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (1398.HK) rose Tuesday after two foreign investors said they have no immediate plans to reduce their stakes in the world's largest lender by market value.

At 0330 GMT, ICBC's yuan-denominated shares were up 1.4% at CNY5.07. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.9% at 3066.45. The lender's Hong Kong dollar-denominated shares were up 2.6% at HK$6.35, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.7% at 22,358.

Allianz SE (AZ) and American Express Co. (AXP) said Monday they will keep their holdings in ICBC after a lockup period expires Tuesday. The German insurer owns 0.96% of ICBC, and the U.S. credit card issuer owns 0.19%.

The comments were in stark contrast to the companies' moves in April, when they raised $1.9 billion by halving their respective stakes in ICBC as soon as a previous lockup period expired. The sales followed similar moves by a number of foreign companies that had sold their holdings in Chinese banks to shore up their capital as they felt the effects of the global financial crisis.

"The latest comments by Allianz and American Express show the worst impact of the world financial crisis may have passed so that they have less of a need to sell their Chinese assets to raise funds," said Jin Lin, an analyst at Shanghai-based Orient Securities.

In addition, Chinese banks look more attractive to foreign investors as they have been largely sheltered from the global financial crisis, said Jin.

"With the backing of the central government, state-run banks such as ICBC have enjoyed much fatter interest margins than their western rivals."

ICBC's shares have risen more than 20% in Shanghai since Allianz and American Express reduced their stakes in April.

Though analysts said they believe the two foreign investors will sell their remaining holdings in ICBC within the next three years, they added the effect of potential divestments would be mild as the sales would likely take place through private placements.

The German insurer said in a statement Monday: "In case of a potential disposal in the future, Allianz will deal with the shares in an appropriate way through close cooperation with ICBC, and explore all potential methods of sale that would maximize value and minimize market impact, with a preference for a private placement sale to investors."

China's $300 billion sovereign-wealth fund promised earlier this month to continue buying ICBC shares over the next 12 months. The government fund owns 35% of ICBC through its investment arm, Central Huijin Investment Ltd.

Allianz, American Express and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bought a combined 8.4% stake in ICBC for US$3.8 billion in May 2006, a couple of months before the Chinese lender's $21.9 billion initial public offering.

Goldman Sachs previously held a 4.9% stake in ICBC. The U.S. bank raised $1.9 billion in June by selling 20% of its holdings, but it has agreed to a new lockup for its remaining holdings until April 28, 2010.

-Rose Yu contributed to this article, Dow Jones Newswires; 8621 6120-1200;