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China Vanke to detail revamp plan as investor showdown looms

[HONG KONG] China Vanke Co plans to disclose details of a restructuring plan by January as the nation's largest homebuilder looks set for a showdown with its biggest shareholder, a group backed by Baoneng Group.

Vanke, whose shares were suspended on Friday, said trading will restart by Jan 18, should the board fail to convene and seek a delay in their resumption by that date, or if the Shenzhen stock exchange doesn't approve an extension of the trading halt. The announcement comes after Vanke Chairman Wang Shi said "see you on Monday" in a posting Saturday on his Weibo account, and Baoneng defended its reputation in an exchange filing.

Vanke, which develops residential properties in Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing and other big Chinese cities is the world's largest listed property company with a market capitalization of more than US$40 billion. Baoneng Group replaced China Resources Co as its largest shareholder this month, prompting the rare public spat. The suspension of trading, pending a share sale, has sparked speculation it's seeking to dilute Baoneng Group's ownership.

Vanke faces a hostile takeover bid by the Baoneng-backed group, Vanke President Yu Liang said Friday. Wang said the company doesn't welcome Baoneng Group and its affiliates, which lack credibility and may have a negative impact on Vanke's credit ratings and reputation, according to a transcript of an internal meeting obtained by Bloomberg News, the contents of which were confirmed by the company.

Baoneng Group said in a statement on its website Friday that it has a "good" reputation, follows the law and believes in the power of the market.

Vanke said in Sunday's statement that after its shares resume trading, it wouldn't seek a suspension again within three months for the purpose of asset restructuring. It'll urge intermediaries including independent financial advisers and valuers to speed up their work and will disclose restructuring documents according to the expected timeframe, it added.