Haitong Securities Co, China’s No.2 brokerage by assets, is set to launch its up to $1.5 billion Hong Kong share offering as early as April 17, IFR reported, reviving a deal that collapsed late last year due to turmoil in global markets.
The company is set to price the deal on April 20 after securing sizeable commitments from investors, Thomson Reuters publication IFR said, citing four sources. The sources were not authorised to speak publicly on the matter.
The deal would be the biggest offering of new shares in the Asia Pacific so far in 2012, a year marked by a slump in equity capital markets as investors remained cautious over Chinese economic growth and Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.
Share sales in Asia ex-Japan tumbled 37 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, with most of the activity focused on follow-on offerings, block deals or private placements, underscoring the fragile nature of markets.
Haitong is set to offer 1 billion new shares at a price range of HK$10.48 to HK$10.98 each, said one source involved in the deal who was not authorised to speak publicly on the matter. Terms of the deal could still change, as Haitong’s Shanghai-listed stock would serve as reference to the price of the Hong Kong shares.
While pricing is set for next week, the schedule and other terms might change over the weekend, IFR said, citing the sources. Haitong shares jumped 4.4 per cent to close at 10.22 yuan in Shanghai on Thursday.
The tentative range would be equivalent to 8.51 yuan to 8.92 yuan per share, or a discount as high as 16.7 per cent to the on Thursday price. The stock has surged about 38 per cent since the beginning of the year.
Haitong got approval from the listing committee of the Hong Kong stock exchange last month to move forward with the offer. Founded in 1988 as Shanghai Haitong Securities Co, the firm has 210 branches in 113 cities in mainland China, with 13 more in Hong Kong and Macau and more than 4 million retail brokerage customers.
The brokerage firm pulled an up to $1.7 billion listing in December due to turmoil in global markets. At the time, the company had $222 million in pledges from two cornerstone investors, private equity firm Warburg Pincus and Japan’s Chuo Mitsui Trust & Banking Co, a unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc.