Everbright Securities is tipped to become the first firm to launch an initial public offering on the mainland after a nine-month ban was lifted. The Shanghai-based company passed through the regulator's pre-listing procedure in June last year, but the 11.5 billion yuan (HK$13.06 billion) offering was put off as Beijing halted new share listings to boost the weak market. Everbright would be the first to float A shares since the China Securities Regulatory Commission announced last week that it was lifting the ban, the Securities Daily reported yesterday. An Everbright spokesman would not confirm the report, saying the brokerage was awaiting the CSRC's final decision. More than 30 companies have received the green light to launch initial share offers but have yet to kick off the fund-raising process since Beijing unofficially suspended new share sales in September last year. Companies that receive listing approval still have to wait for the CSRC to give the go-ahead to start price consultation. Everbright said last year it would raise as much as 11.5 billion yuan by offering 520 million shares. It will become only the second mainland brokerage to secure a listing through an initial share offer after Beijing-based Citic Securities, the mainland's largest brokerage. The other eight publicly traded securities firms all obtained back-door listings. The Everbright spokesman declined to say if the company would scale down its share sale size following a drop in profits last year. 'It will be decided after the CSRC gives new directions,' she said. The brokerage reported a net profit of 1.21 billion yuan, or 42 fen a share, last year. Since mainland initial share sales are normally priced at 20 to 25 times earnings, Everbright could offer shares at about 10 yuan each, less than half of the price at which it expected to sell last year. 'The share sale is a large one that could weigh down the market, but we don't think Everbright will cut the offering price since there are signs that the market has turned around,' said Essence Securities analyst Liu Jun. China Merchants Securities also received approval to launch a listing last year. It expected to net no less than 5 billion yuan from the offering. The CSRC said flotations would resume after it finalised a new rule. It is seeking public opinion on the rule until June 5.