China Everbright Bank to go public soon

By Mao Lijun (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-04-02 07:20

China Everbright Bank, Everbright Group's banking unit, will go public in Shanghai in July or August, Everbright Group said Tuesday.

The bank will issue more than 820 million A shares, accounting for 10 percent of its enlarged share capital, said Everbright Group, a State-owned financial conglomerate.

The bank may float shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange if its Shanghai IPO is successfully completed before the 2008 Olympic Games.

"But the bank has no timetable for a Hong Kong listing yet," said its vice-president Xie Zhichun. "And the Shanghai listing plan will be further discussed by and is subject to approval from the board and shareholders."

Xie added: "The board may enlarge the A-share issue further to more than 10 percent of the enlarged share capital as we don't know whether we can realize a Hong Kong listing or not, but we expect to finish the Shanghai listing before the Olympic Games."

The bank has postponed inviting strategic investors as concerns are rising that the subprime crisis will worsen the finances of financial institutions, the bank said.

"We will restart the work after the strategic investors release their third-quarter report," said Li Jie, another vice-president of the bank.

The bank is a target for foreign investors given its low share price and large scale. It said earlier it will reserve a 20 percent stake for foreign strategic investors and would like to pick investors that can hold the bank's stakes for a long time.

The bank disclosed that Industrial Bank from France showed interest to invest in it, but the French banking scandal hindered talks.

It will restart inviting strategic investors after its Shanghai listing, the bank said.

The bank is 24.16-percent-owned by China Everbright Group and 21.4-percent-owned by Hong Kong-listed China Everbright Ltd.

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