Shenzhen company changes strategy for B share issue

UNDAUNTED by the cool response to recent B share listings, Shenzhen Gintian Industry is pushing ahead with its $407 million B share issue.

But in view of the market situation, it is making a private placement and an open offer at the same time.

The diversified company, which already has A shares listed in Shenzhen, said 19 million B shares on offer would be placed with foreign investors and another 19 million would be sold through a public offering.

In Shenzhen yesterday, company chairman Huang Hanqing said 38 million B shares would be offered at $10.71 a share from Monday to May 14.

The issue represents 27.5 per cent of the company's enlarged share capital.

Trading is expected to start on or before June 11.

The sluggish trade in B shares on the Shenzhen stock exchange and the cool response towards some Shenzhen listings would not affect Shenzhen Gintian, Mr Huang said.

''Other issues failed to attract investors but that does not necessarily mean that the B share market is bad,'' he said.

Brushing aside worries that a diversified firm would lose it focus, Mr Huang said the spreading of operations would, instead, provide the company with a steady income.

Property development, import and export trading, and textiles and garments manufacturing each accounted for about one-third of the company's turnover last year.

The firm is also involved in the production of high-technology industry and retail and commercial services.

According to sources, the company is forecasting a taxed profit of no less than 120 million yuan (about $162.72 million), based on international accounting standards (IAS), for this year.

This puts the share on a prospective price-earnings ratio of 11.5, and means a more than threefold increase on last year's earnings of 38.5 million yuan.

Projected earnings per share based on IAS will be 99.6 fen and dividends will be 29 fen a share.

Mr Huang said the company was fast expanding, as reflected in its track record, despite worries about the capability of maintaining the growth pace in the next few years.

The company posted a net profit of 6.7 million yuan in 1991 following a net loss of 14.3 million yuan in 1990.

It made considerable profit growth for the past three years. However, its debt now stands at 700 million yuan, compared with its net assets of 220 million yuan.