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Cinda shares selling like hot cakes

Updated: 2013-11-27 07:27
By Gao Changxin in Shanghai and Cai Xiao in Beijing ( China Daily)

Chinese bad-debt manager Cinda's Hong Kong IPO has successfully taken center stage in Hong Kong's investment circles.

After a hot roadshow on Monday, stories flooded local business sections on Tuesday with details of the China Cinda Asset Management Co's $2.5 billion IPO, which is expected to be the largest this year in Hong Kong, which just lost Alibaba Group Holding Co Ltd, China's biggest e-commerce company.

Cinda shares selling like hot cakes

One story involves George Soros, the brain behind Soros Fund Management, "the man who broke the Bank of England" and the man who nearly broke Hong Kong during the Asian financial crisis of 1997.

The Hong Kong Economic Times said on Tuesday that Soros has subscribed for $200 million worth of Cinda shares, which was oversubscribed by nearly six times.

Soros couldn't be reached on Tuesday for comment.

Local media said another US investor gobbled up $350 million in shares. Goldpac Group and MeiDong Auto committed $14.2 million and $3.3 million respectively.

Cinda, one of China's four distressed-asset managers founded in 1999 to clear up bad loans in big State-owned banks, already has lined up 10 cornerstone investors in its 5.3-billion-share offering, set at a price range of HK$3 (39 cents) to HK$3.58 per share, to raise around HK$19 billion. A 15-percent greenshoe option, if activated, would bring the total to HK$21.9 billion. The final price will be set Dec 5, and trading starts on Dec 12.

The next one is solid, though. Oaktree Capital Group LLC, the world's biggest bed-debt investor, has announced that it will join hands with Cinda to buy up $1 billion worth of bad assets in China. Oaktree, which oversaw $79.8 billion as of Sept 30, will come up with half of the investment, and put in more if it's happy with how the deal goes.

"It's a rare opportunity for two premier firms to combine their expertise in investing, and we are pleased to be working with such a strong partner as Oaktree," said Hou Jianhang, chairman of Cinda.

Hong Hao, managing director and chief strategist at BOCOM International Holdings Co Ltd, said that the co-operation signals the involvement of foreign players in China's next round of clearing of bad assets.