FAW Group plans listing

By Li Fangfang (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-07-15 09:35
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FAW Group plans listing

 An FAW billboard at an international auto expo in Shanghai in April. [Shao Chang / for China Daily]

Move aims to strenghten ability to compete with rivals in China market

BEIJING - FAW Group Corp, China's second biggest automaker, is planning a stock market listing after a restructuring of the business, in a bid of reinforcing its ability to compete with rivals in the world's biggest automobile market.

FAW Car Co and Tianjin FAW Xiali Automobile Co, the group's two listed subsidies, said in separate statements filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange that the parent plans to restructure its main business and establish a holding company, transferring its holding in the two sub-units to the planned new company.

The statements also said that FAW Group is awaiting government approval for the asset restructuring.

FAW Car's shares declined 2.14 percent to 16.44 yuan ($2.43) while FAW Xiali fell 1.53 percent to 8.99 yuan on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Gao Yuan, FAW Group's spokesman based in Changchun, confirmed that the company is aiming for a single group listing, but didn't elaborate.

FAW Group has made clear its ambition to go public as a whole since 2007. However, weak market performance in 2008 led the Chinese government to suspend new share listings for almost one year.

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Yao Hongguang, an analyst with Huatai United Securities said that the industry has been expecting FAW Group's full listing since China resumed new share listings last June as the domestic stock market rebounded.

The establishment of the new company and the asset restructuring will be a step forward to the long-awaited group listing.

Analysts said that the listing will help FAW Group finance its expansion and increase its ability to compete with SAIC Group, which became China's biggest automaker in 2006.

China Minzu Securities analyst Cao He said that he thinks it's a suitable time for FAW Group to go public as China's automobile market has a promising future.

Guangzhou Automobile Group, Chery Automobile Co and BYD Co are also queuing up for full listings.

FAW Car said in the filing statement that it expects its profit in the first half to rise by 100 percent to 150 percent over last year to 1.3 billion yuan.

FAW Xiali said its first-half net income may increase 420 percent to 470 percent to between 268 million yuan and 294 million yuan.

China surpassed the US to be the world's biggest auto market last year, helped by its robust year-on-year growth of 46 percent.