China CITIC Bank IPO draws keen overseas demand

HONG KONG - China CITIC Bank Corp., which is raising up to US$5.4 billion in what should be the world’s biggest IPO so far this year, has seen its overseas institutional part more than 30 times covered before opening to retail investors on Monday, people familiar with the matter said.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Sun 15 Apr 2007, 6:38 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:07 PM

On Thursday, China’s seventh-biggest lender lowered its fund-raising target and tightened the price range for its IPO despite strong investor interest ahead of the bank’s dual Hong Kong/Shanghai listing.

‘We adjusted the price range because we hope to leave more room for our investors in the aftermarket,’ said Kong Dan, chairman of the Beijing-based bank. Previously, the bank had been aiming to raise as much as $5.7 billion.

The new range values the lender at 2.57-2.75 times its 2007 book value, compared with 2.48-2.81 times under its old range.

Unlike overseas book building, which involves hundreds of thousands of institutional investors, China’s domestic book building process involves only some 190 qualified institutional investors. The issuer also has to consult the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the securities watchdog, about the indicative price range.

‘Both the qualified institutional investors and the CSRC deem the high end of the previous price range was too rich,’ said one source familiar with the matter.

The offer, which opened on April 10 for overseas institutional investors, will close on Thursday, with a trading debut set for April 27, under the stock code

CITIC Bank is now selling 4.885 billion Hong Kong shares at HK$5.06-HK$5.86 apiece, compared with an earlier range of HK$4.72-HK$6.17.

It is selling 2.3 billion A shares to be listed in Shanghai at 5.00 yuan to 5.80 yuan each, versus an earlier range of 4.66-6.10 yuan each.

With a lower maximum issue price, market watchers expect investors will crowd into the CITIC Bank IPO to tap the country’s 10 percent economic growth and rising consumer spending power.

At the top end of the revised price range, CITIC Bank shares would be sold at a slight discount to some of its bigger rivals.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country’s top lender, trades at 2.8 times 2007 book value in Hong Kong, while top non-state bank China Merchants Bank trades at 4.33 times 2007 book value.

Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria and CITIC International Financial Holding plan to buy roughly US$1 billion of shares in CITIC Bank.

Japan’s Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd., China’s National Council for Social Security Fund, PICC Property and Casualty Co. and China Life have each been earmarked HK$400 million worth of CITIC Bank shares.

The IPO will be just the second simultaneous Hong Kong/Shanghai listing after ICBC’s share sale last year that raised a record US$21.9 billion.

China International Capital Corp. (CICC), Citigroup, CITIC Securities, HSBC and Lehman Brothers are sponsors of the listing.

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