Bank of Communications to list in HK June 23
China's Bank of Communications, the country's fifth-largest commercial lender, plans to list in Hong Kong on June 23 after launching an initial public offering.
It was selling 5.9 billion shares, or 12.38 percent of its enlarged issued share capital, at 1.95-2.55 Hong Kong dollars (25-33 US cents) each to institutional and retail investors.
The subscription offers ends on June 16 with the bank to list on the main board of the Hong Kong Exchange on June 23.
The lender could raise the size of the issue by 15 percent to 6.73 billion shares for over-allotments, it said at a briefing to launch the IPO.
A market source said the share sale's institutional tranche, which accounts for 95 percent of the total shares offered, has been oversubscribed.
Expectations are that demand for the retail portion of the lender's offering, which is five percent of the number of shares offered, will also be strong, the source said.
The net proceeds will be used to strengthen the company's capital base.
Global banking giant HSBC, owner of a 19.9 percent stake in the mainland lender, will subscribe for 1.16 billion additional shares to maintain its current shareholding in the company.
Following Bank of Communications, China Construction Bank and China Minsheng Banking Corp. are slated to go public in Hong Kong this year with the race on to restructure before foreign banks enter the Chinese market in 2006.
Chinese regulators hope that pushing state-owned banks to go public will also bring greater transparency to a sector riven with bad debt and bad practice.