Property giant may list in HK

ONE of China's largest property developers is seeking a listing on the Hongkong stock exchange as part of a massive expansion and restructuring programme due to commence this year.

The Beijing North Star Industrial Group, controlled by the Beijing municipal government, plans to become a shareholding company open to both domestic and foreign investment by the end of the year, according to the deputy director of the general manager'soffice, Mr Si Haiqun.

North Star would first seek a listing for its A shares on China's national stock market, the Shanghai Securities Exchange, and should that prove a success, the company would apply for a listing in Hongkong, Mr Si said.

He stressed, however, that the group's listing plans were at a very early stage and that it had not yet engaged a financial consultant in the territory to advise it.

With reported assets of 3.4 billion yuan (about HK$4.4 billion), North Star is one of the largest state-run companies so far to move towards a share-holding system and analysts say the corporation could encounter serious problems in restructuring what isalready a highly complex and diverse group of companies.