Guangzhou Rural Bank launches up to $1.1 billion Hong Kong IPO | Reuters

By Fiona Lau and Julie Zhu
| HONG KONG

HONG KONG Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank Co Ltd (GRCB) launched a Hong Kong initial public offering worth as much as $1.1 billion on Monday, seeking funds for potential M&A and to open new branches as it expands its lending and investment businesses.

The IPO for China’s fifth-largest rural commercial bank by assets consists of 1.58 billion shares offered in an indicative range of HK$4.99-HK$5.27 each, according to a term sheet of the deal seen by Reuters.

That would be equivalent to around 16.5 percent of the lender after the offering, valuing it at as much as $6.7 billion.

GRCB did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.

The lender secured commitments worth about $431 million from three investors, including $195.1 million each from a unit of HNA Group and from Aeon Life Insurance Company Ltd, which is controlled by billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group.

Investment firm International Merchants Holdings plans to buy $40 million worth of shares.

The IPO is set to be priced on June 13, with its debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange slated for June 20.

ABC International, CCB International, China International Capital Corp Ltd (CICC) and China Merchants Securities were hired as sponsors for the IPO, GRCB said in its preliminary IPO prospectus.

(Reporting by Julie Zhu and Fiona Lau of IFR; Writing by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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