China's Huishang Bank sets price range for up to $1.3 billion Hong Kong IPO - source

Reuters

By Elzio Barreto

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Huishang Bank Corp Ltd plans to launch its Hong Kong IPO next week, seeking to raise up to $1.3 billion, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Saturday, becoming the second of several mainland Chinese lenders to tap capital markets to bolster their balance sheets.

Huishang Bank is offering 2.61 billion shares in a range of HK$3.50 to HK$3.88 each, putting the total deal value at up to HK$10.13 billion ($1.31 billion), added the person, who was not authorised to speak publicly on the matter. The offer is expected to be priced on November 6, the person said.

Huishang Bank's IPO follows in the footsteps of Bank Of Chongqing, which is seeking to raise up to $593 million in a Hong Kong offer. Bank of Chongqing is set to price its up to $593 million IPO on October 31.

City commercial banks such as Huishang and Bank of Chongqing have grown rapidly in recent years because of consolidation in the sector, surging loan demand from small- and medium-sized enterprises and consumer finance.

China had 144 city commercial banks at the end of 2012 and combined assets worth 12.35 trillion yuan ($2.03 trillion), or about 9.2 percent of the country's total.

Chinese banks, including Huishang and Bank of Chongqing, are aiming to raise around $11 billion through Hong Kong IPOs between now and the first half of next year, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.

Huishang started meeting with investors about its deal on October 21. Huishang Bank could not immediately be reached for a comment.

Several other small and medium-sized Chinese lenders have sought listings in Hong Kong after waiting several years for approval from the securities regulator in mainland China.

BOC International, Citic Securities International , JPMorgan (NYS:JPM), Morgan Stanley (NYS:MS) and UBS AG (VTX:UBSN) are leading the transaction.

(Reporting by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Denny Thomas and Michael Perry)

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