BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- ArcelorMittal SA, the world's largest steelmaker, said Friday it had sold off part of its stake in steel company China Oriental to two European banks to comply with Hong Kong stock exchange rules.
The company has cut back its holding to 29.6 percent from 47 percent, selling a 9.9 percent stake to ING Bank NV and 7.5 percent to Deutsche Bank AG in order to make a quarter of China Oriental's shares available for trading.
It did not give financial details on the transactions.
Another 7.5 percent China Oriental's shares are held by other unnamed shareholders.
The Hong Kong exchange insists that companies must freely trade at least 25 percent of their capital.
ArcelorMittal broke through that limit in February when a share tender saw it pick up 45 percent of all shares. This saw China Oriental shares suspended until trading began again Friday.
ArcelorMittal wants to expand in China as its booming economy calls out for more steel to build machines and houses. It still needs regulatory approval for the stake in China Oriental, which produces steel in China's northern Hebei province and in Guangdong to the south.