Cyber City International, a key shareholder in Shenzhen's US$200 million software development park, plans to seek an overseas listing for the park amid the recent demand for high-technology stocks. Executive director Mu Jun said the company was considering the timing and location for the float. 'Such a big project will need a big [financing] vehicle,' he said. The first phase of construction for the 3.87 million square feet site is expected to be completed in 18 months. If successful, the development would be expanded to 21.52 million sq ft. The company is in talks with unnamed Hong Kong property companies on the possibility of taking part in the development and a decision will be made in three to six months. Partnership with Western investors would be sought later, it said. Cyber City is preparing for the launch of a US$50 million venture capital fund, which would invest in projects in the park, Mr Mu said. Hong Kong-incorporated Cyber City International would focus on fund-raising in the SAR while its New-York-based wholly owned subsidiary Cyber City Capital would concentrate on raising financing in the United States. Cyber City International's 70 per cent-owned Cyber City Shenzhen would take responsibility for building and managing the software park - designed by L.C. Pei, son of renowned architect I.M. Pei. Mr Mu dismissed suggestions that Cyber City would compete head-on with the Cyberport project, the HK$13 billion venture to be built in Pokfulam by Pacific Century. He said Cyber City could offer software engineers as well as cheap land and a climate for invention and innovation while Hong Kong could provide the capital and business management expertise for the success of hi-tech companies. 'Cyberport will be the place for the bosses of hi-tech firms and Cyber City will be the base for their staff,' Mr Mu said. 'I think, with the combination of the strength of Shenzhen and Hong Kong, we could become the best cyber zone in Asia or even in the world,' he said. The Shenzhen government has been working on the launch of a 1 billion yuan (about HK$931.6 million) venture capital fund and another fund of about US$50 million in Hong Kong as part of its plan to speed up growth of its hi-tech industry. Mr Mu said he was thankful that the idea of a hi-tech park had gained popularity after the launch of the Cyberport project in Hong Kong, led by Richard Li Tzar-kai. He expected that Mr Li's efforts would assist the work of Cyber City. The idea of a hi-tech park in Shenzhen was conceived in 1995 - well before the birth of the Cyberport, Mr Mu said. He said a software park and a second board for hi-tech stocks were two ideas put forward to the Shenzhen municipal government in 1995 in its capacity as adviser on how to trigger a second wave of high-growth in the special economic zone. The second board proposal lost support after Beijing tightened controls over the stock markets.