China State Construction Engineering Corporation (China Construction), the country's largest home builder, has completed transferring 1.2 billion shares to the national pension fund and will be listed in Shanghai next month, in what would be the country's biggest IPO this year, people familiar with the matter said.
"China Construction is one of the eight State-owned companies that have completed the share transfer so far (in line with the government requirement)," said one person close to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), the country's top State asset watchdog.
China Metallurgical Group, a Beijing-based resources and construction conglomerate, and China International Travel Service (CITS) Group, the country's top tour operator, are among the eight companies that have completed State-owned share transfers, the person said, without disclosing the names of the other companies.
All the three companies are under the direct supervision of the SASAC, which currently oversees 138 of the country's biggest non-bank State-owned enterprises.
A construction site in Dongzhimen, Beijing. China Construction plans to raise as much as 42.6 billion yuan by selling 12 billion shares next month. CFP
SASAC has completed all the paper work concerning those companies' State share transfers and relayed the document to the securities regulator last week, the person said.
The completion of the share transfer, analysts said, was a sign that these companies were one step closer to their final share flotation.
The State Council, China's cabinet, said on June 19 that all State-owned companies that were listed after the 2005 reforms pertaining to State share holdings and companies that will list in future must transfer shares worth 10 percent of their IPOs to the national pension fund.
"The regulator is planning to let China Construction go public in August," another person who has knowledge of the matter said.
China Construction won initial approval to float its shares last June but the plan was derailed by the slumping market conditions then. It is planning to raise as much as 42.6 billion yuan by selling 12 billion shares, according to its pre-release prospectus.
The proceeds from the share sale, which would be the biggest domestic IPO this year so far, will be used to fund construction projects, infrastructure investment, commercial residential development and machinery equipment procurement, and increase its working flow capital, it said.
China Construction chalked up a net profit of 4.92 billion yuan in 2007, up 103.9 percent year-on-year.
China Metallurgical Group is also in the process of launching IPOs in Hong Kong and Shanghai, with its Hong Kong IPO alone aiming to raise $2.7 billion, Hong Kong media reported earlier.
CITS Group too was planning to list its whole group assets within the year, according to reports in the media.
The government had halted IPOs last September after the stock market tumbled 60 percent from its high in the previous year, putting on hold listings of 37 companies that had received regulatory approval for initial offers.Source:China Daily