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Bank of Tianjin, investors seek up to US$1.23b from IPO

[HONG KONG] Bank of Tianjin Co, a commercial lender based in the northern Chinese port city, and its owners are seeking as much as US$1.23 billion from a Hong Kong initial public offering.

The bank and some existing investors are offering a combined 995.5 million shares at HK$7.37 to HK$9.58 apiece, according to a Hong Kong exchange filing Tuesday.

Seven cornerstone investors, including government-owned China State Shipbuilding Cor and Tianjin-based commodities trader Tewoo Group Co, agreed to buy about US$560 million of stock in the offering.

Bank of Tianjin and fellow lender China Zheshang Bank Co are the first companies attempting major Hong Kong IPOs this year, after the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rebounded 16 per cent from its low last month.

The offerings will add to the US$861 million raised by first-time share sales in the city this year, the slowest start since 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

China State Shipbuilding agreed to buy US$270 million of stock as a cornerstone investor, while Tewoo and Tianjin Real Estate Group Co will each invest US$50 million, according to the filing. Sinotak Ltd, an investment vehicle owned by a wealthy man named Zhang Wei, committed US$100 million.  

Shandong Tianye Real Estate Development Group Co, Tianjin Teda Investment Holding Co and the parent of China Huiyuan Juice Group will purchase US$30 million of shares apiece.

Tianjin Bank plans to price the offering March 18 and start trading on March 30, the filing shows. 

ABC International Holdings, BOC International Holdings and CCB International Holdings are joint sponsors of Bank of Tianjin's listing.

The lender had 545.7 billion yuan (S$115.8 billion) of total assets on Sept 30, compared with 478.9 billion yuan at the end of 2014, according to a pre-listing document posted to the stock exchange earlier this month.


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