SHENZHEN Vanke, which has A shares listed in Shenzhen, is to issue 45 million B shares to raise about 500 million yuan (about HK$673.5 million). The issue represents about 25 per cent of the company's enlarged share capital. Shenzhen Vanke's B share float, expected to be launched on or before May 30, is the largest among the recent B share offerings. Company adviser Wu Chong yesterday said in Shenzhen the offer price was set at 11 yuan a share, subject to adjustment, which would raise 495 million yuan for the company. Standard Chartered Asia is the lead underwriter for the issue. Mr Wu said the B share issue was prompted by the need to raise cash in the wake of the company's rapid expansion in recent years. The issue would allow the company to tap capital in overseas markets, he said. Although the response to the recent B shares issues in Shenzhen had been mixed as overseas investors had become more selective and cautious, Mr Wu said he was confident his company's float could be absorbed by the market, considering the firm's capabilityto generate profits. ''The market can bear issues of whatever size so long as investment in the issues will give high returns,'' he said. Unlike the recent issues, Shenzhen Vanke is very diversified and is involved mainly in property development, equity investment, and trading and retailing. It also has interests in industrial operations, entertainment and advertising. The company is expecting a big increase in profits for this year to 146 million yuan, largely from property development and investment. The huge returns on property investment have spurred the company to rationalise its business with more focus given to property. ''We've thought of trimming the businesses which are not profitable, leaving more efforts to focus on profitable ventures such as property development and equity investment,'' Mr Wu said. Last year, Shenzhen Vanke undertook several big property development projects in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Qingdao. It also bought a seven per cent interest in Hainan Energy, which has A shares listed on the Shenzhen exchange. Following the successful sale of several blocks of residential flats in Shanghai, Shenzhen Vanke is now involved in building houses in Shanghai. The company also has other property interests in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Qingdao and Beijing. Shenzhen Vanke was established in 1984 by the state as a trading company. It was then transformed into a joint-stock company in 1988 through the issue of 41 million A shares. Businesses were subsequently expanded to include industrial operations and property development. The company was listed on the Shenzhen exchange when it began operation in January 1991. The company's A shares traded to a high of 15.8 yuan in 1991. They closed at 29.6 yuan last Friday.