Smooth sailing expected for mainland's top lender when it puts case to committee for US$19b offering The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China plans to seek approval for a US$19 billion initial public offering from the Hong Kong stock exchange listing committee on September 21 in a first step towards what is likely to be the world's largest listing. People close to the bank expect the hearing to go smoothly given the trophy size of the offering and its importance to Beijing. 'It's going to be like, 'When would you like to do this?''' said one source. Six weeks of pre-marketing, book building and then pricing would be capped when the shares begin trading in early to mid-November, sources said. The mainland's largest lender is also finalising how many shares to allot to strategic investors, including a number of tycoons and Middle East investment fund Dubai International Capital. Generally, the exchange places a 25 per cent cap on sales to key investors. The Beijing-based bank plans to sell 53 billion shares, or 16 per cent of its enlarged share capital, in a dual Hong Kong and domestic market listing. ICBC will sell 35 billion shares in Hong Kong - about 10.6 per cent of its enlarged share capital - and 18 billion A shares that will trade on the Shanghai exchange. The bank may be on course to beat NTT DoCoMo's 1998 offering, which raised US$18.4 billion for the Japanese mobile-telephone operator - the world's largest listing. The spectre of such an enormous share sale has other mainland companies scrambling to get their listing deals out before ICBC's offering and avoid the competition. Hong Kong-based electronic-control product producer Computime and Shanghai property developer SPG Land Holdings won approval for their share sales yesterday, setting the stage for them to sell a combined HK$2.56 billion worth of shares as soon as next week. Computime would kick off pre-marketing to institutional investors next week, followed by a two-week roadshow, market sources said. JP Morgan is sponsoring the deal. The offering for SPG Land, which aims to raise US$200 million, is being managed by DBS Asia Capital and Macquarie Bank. The firm, wholly owned by Australian builder Starwaly Properties (Group), is one of Shanghai's biggest property developers. It developed the Kangqiao Peninsula in Pudong New Area, one of the city's largest low-density residential quarters. HannStar Board International, the world's largest printed circuit board supplier for laptop computers, failed to win approval from the listing committee yesterday. The committee wants more information disclosed in its prospectus. A second hearing will be scheduled for a later date. The company, a spin-off from Taiwan-listed HannStar Board Corp, aims to raise US$90 million. Taiwan Securities and Polaris Securities are handling the share sale.