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China Merchants Bank plans US$2b IPO
Updated: 2006-02-27 20:14

China Merchants Bank Co. is planning a US$2 billion (euro1.7 billion) initial public stock offering in Hong Kong, becoming the first mainland lender to list on both stock exchanges, a newspaper reported Monday.

The mid-tier Shenzhen-based bank aims to launch its Hong Kong offering in September the earliest, the South China Morning Post reported.

The bank has mandated Swiss investment bank UBS AG and China International Capital Corp., the mainland's largest investment bank, in addition to Merrill Lynch & Co., to be lead bookrunners for the listing, Dow Jones Newswire quoted unidentified sources as saying.

China Merchant Bank, which is already listed on Shanghai's stock exchange, awarded Merrill Lynch the mandate in January, and added UBS and CICC in the last few days, according to Dow Jones, which put the size of the listing at HK$10 billion (US$1.3 billion; euro1.1 billion) and said it is planned for June.

A person close to the deal told The Associated Press that UBS was made a bookrunner for the bank's IPO but declined to give other details.

A China International Capital Corp. spokeswoman in Beijing, Tracy Hu, declined to confirm the report.

Dow Jones reported that the China Merchant deal adds another major coup for UBS, which along with Goldman Sachs Group is also taking Bank of China, China's second largest lender, public in a US$6 billion (euro5.0 billion) IPO later this year.

The battle to grab a underwriting role in upcoming Chinese bank IPOs is getting increasingly fierce among international investment banks.

Deals slated for this year include state-owned banks Bank of China and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, as well as mid-tier lender China Minsheng Banking Corp.

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