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Merchants Bank has no plan for overseas IPO
(Shenzhen Daily/Agencies)
Updated: 2004-11-17 09:52

Shanghai-listed China Merchants Bank Co.,one of five banks listed in China, said Tuesday it had no plans for an overseas listing for next year.

The denial came after recent media reports speculated the bank planned to go public in Hong Kong by issuing H shares to raise tens of billions in yuan, the bank said in a statement.

"The reports are not in line with the company's actual situation," the bank said.

The bank met at least two investment banks, Merrill Lynch & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., to discuss the possibility of an overseas initial public offering, a person involved in the discussions said Monday.

China Merchants Bank recently concluded an issuance of a five-year domestic convertible bond, raising 6.5 billion yuan to help boost its capital base.

China's banks have been working to expand their capital base, clean up their bad loans and seeking listings overseas ahead of an end-2006 deadline when China is set to open its banking industry fully to foreign competition, based on its pledges to the World Trade Organization, which the country joined in December 2001.

China Merchants Bank said subscriptions for its issue of 6.5 bln yuan in five-year convertible bonds have been finalized, with bonds worth 16.43 million yuan sold to UBS AG, one of the bank's institutional investors under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor Program.

China Merchants Bank said in a statement filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange that its existing shareholders purchased bonds worth 4.9 billion yuan, or 75.43 percent of the total issue, while the remaining bonds were sold to the public.

The coupon for the first year would be 1.0 percent, 1.375 percent for the second year, 1.75 percent for the third, 2.125 percent for the fourth year and 2.5 percent for the final year, it said.

China Merchants Bank attempted to issue 10 billion yuan in convertible bonds last year, but the plan was rejected by shareholders, most of whom own its tradable shares, sources familiar with situation said.

As a compromise, the bank first issued 3.5 billion yuan in subordinated bonds this summer before issuing 6.5 billion yuan in convertible bonds last month.

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