New Hope raises stake in China Minsheng Banking to 5.9pc

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 June, 2007, 12:00am

China Minsheng Banking, the nation's first privately held lender, has won approval to raise 18.2 billion yuan by selling new shares in the mainland's largest private stock placement in terms of money raised.

Sichuan New Hope Investment and China Oceanwide Group were allowed by the China Banking Regulatory Commission to increase their holdings to more than 5 per cent, according to a statement released by the lender.

Under the placement, leading shareholder New Hope will buy 110 million shares to have a final stake of 5.9 per cent.

New Hope failed to maintain its initial plan to increase its holding to more than 10 per cent through the sale, in which China Life Insurance and Ping An Insurance (Group) each took stakes of less than 5 per cent.

OWG, a private real estate developer, won approval to buy 100 million shares to increase its stake to 5.5 per cent.

The investors paid 7.63 yuan per share, instead of the 9.08 yuan per share disclosed before, while the number of shares sold was increased to 2.38 billion from two billion. The total money raised is unchanged.

China Life and Ping An, the country's two largest insurers, will pay a combined 10.9 billion yuan for their shares, according to the statement.

The insurers each would own 4.93 per cent of the bank, the statement said. Ping An has to hold the stake for 12 months, while China Life has to hold for 26 months. The deal may require approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.

Mainland insurers, with almost two trillion yuan in assets, have been investing in more domestic banks either as financial investors or as strategic investors.

Minsheng, one of the fastest-developing banks in the mainland, is seeking various ways to boost its capital to match its growing loans.

Its first-quarter profit jumped 47 per cent as net income rose by percent to 1.1 billion yuan. Net interest income increased 39.4 per cent to 4.5 billion yuan.

The bank is planning a listing in Hong Kong, although no timetable has been set.