Mainland approves Citic Securities' HK offering
Citic Securities, the mainland's largest brokerage firm, has received approval from mainland regulators to launch a Hong Kong share offering that is expected to raise nearly HK$17 billion.
The Beijing-based company got the nod from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, and said it now had to secure approval from the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing before launching the share sale, the first mainland brokerage to raise funds outside mainland China.
The CSRC gave its approval five months after Citic Securities announced its Hong Kong listing plan, an apparent move to enhance its international profile as mainland brokerages gained financial strength.
Citic Securities generated net profits of 2.97 billion yuan (HK$3.62 billion) in the first half of this year, up 13.1 per cent from a year earlier despite a 1.6 per cent drop in the mainland's key stock indicator.
Based on its closing price of 12.10 yuan on the A-share market yesterday, it could raise up to HK$16.84 billion by offering the planned 1.14 billion shares in Hong Kong.
It was reported that the brokerage would seek approval from HKEx tomorrow.
Citic Securities' move is likely to be followed by its Shanghai-headquartered rival, Haitong Securities, which announced floating 1.2 billion H shares in April.
In June, Citic Securities bought stakes in CLSA and CA Cheuvreux, Credit Agricole's brokerage units, as part of its plan to create a global brokerage platform by integrating those two businesses.
Mainland brokerages are eager to tap into the potential of overseas investment banking businesses amid a rising number of initial public offerings by domestic companies in Hong Kong and foreign markets. International investment banks play a leading role in managing the overseas offerings of mainland China's firms. A Hong Kong offering may help hone Citic Securities' image as a global player as it looks to do more underwriting business abroad.