THREE mainland corporations are racing for the prestige of being the first to launch a simultaneous public B-share offer in Hongkong and China. The Hongkong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) confirmed yesterday that China's oldest property company, Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Real Estate Corp, was one of two new corporations to join the race. Property developer Shanghai Outer Gasqiao Free Trade Development Co was already known to be planning a launch. The identity of the third mainland company has not been revealed. Shenzhen SEZ Real Estate Corp, established in 1979, is likely to be listed on the Shenzhen exchange in June. It plans to issue 212 million A and B shares to raise 770 million yuan (about HK$1.04 billion at official rates), according to the official China Daily newspaper. A company official said 100 million B shares would be issued in Hongkong. The company's prospectus is currently being vetted by the SFC. If it is deemed to meet Hongkong standards it will be passed to the Registrar General's office for registration. Once all the paperwork has been completed, the B shares will be sold to foreign investors through Hongkong stockbrokers. Shanghai Gasqiao is now hoping to launch its simultaneous share offering in Hongkong and Shanghai next month, but is still awaiting approval from the Registrar General's office in Hongkong. The job of vetting prospectuses in Hongkong was transferred from the Registrar General's office to the SFC on February 1. However, Shanghai Gasqiao's case is still being studied by the Registrar General's department as its application was made before the change. Its public offering was originally set for this month, but the longer-than-expected vetting process by Hongkong and China securities watchdogs has caused a slight delay. Concerns have centred on the standard of accounting and reporting systems in China, which greatly differ from international practices. Shanghai Gasqiao's offer is believed to be worth around 85 million yuan. The offer price is likely to be just over 28 yuan a share, the issue price of its A shares. Both its A and B shares will be listed on the Shanghai exchange. The company's business includes infrastructure construction, property development, storage, distribution and trading activities in the Outer Gasqiao Free Trade Zone, which will cover 10 square kilometres. Its long-term goal is to make Outer Gasqiao, in northeastern Pudong, one of the largest free-trade zones in Asia-Pacific. Shenzhen SEZ Real Estate intends to use the money it raises through its share issue for property schemes in Shenyang, Beijing, Wuhan, Guangzhou and Shantou. An official told the China Daily the money would also be used to help finance the extension of Kunming airport in Yunnan province, and build a cement factory in Feng Kai, Guangdong, and a power plant in Shantou. In 1989, the company invested 150 million yuan to help build Shenzhen Airport. Last year, the company invested 25 million yuan in the Shantou Songshan power plant, which is expected to start operation in June. The company is constructing a string of commercial buildings and chain stores in Shenzhen, and aims to establish footholds in other big cities, such as Wuhan, Guangzhou, Beijing and Shenyang. According to general manager Luo Jinxing, Shenzhen SEZ Real Estate Corp's plans for 1993 to 2010 include: Increasing its assets more than tenfold from 1.3 billion yuan last year to 13.5 billion yuan. Boosting sales more than ninefold from 600 million yuan to 5.48 billion yuan. Raising profit from 170 million yuan last year to 1.25 billion yuan.