China Bohai Bank mulls $2b HK IPO amid waning demand

(L-R) The Hong Kong Exchanges flag, Chinese national flag and Hong Kong flag are hoisted outside the Hong Kong Stocks Exchange in Hong Kong June 7, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

China Bohai Bank Co., a mid-sized lender part-owned by Standard Chartered Plc, has picked lead banks for a planned Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise more than $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Tianjin-based lender is working with ABC International Holdings Ltd., CCB International (Holdings) Ltd., CLSA Ltd. and Haitong International Securities Group on the share sale, said the people, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The bank will probably list in the second half of next year, two of the people said.

Bohai Bank, with 1 trillion yuan ($142 billion) of assets, saw its nonperforming loan ratio rise to 1.84% by the end of 2018 from 1.74% a year ago, with revenue declining 8.1%, according to its annual report. Standard Chartered held about 20% in the firm as its second-largest shareholder, while local government-backed TEDA Investment Holding owned 25%.

The planned offering comes as investor appetite is waning after a spate of declines in freshly listed firms on the mainland. Postal Savings Bank of China Ltd., one of the nation’s largest state-owned lenders, drew the lowest demand from retail investors in almost half a decade for its listing in China. Shares of China Zheshang Bank Co. fell below its IPO price shortly after its debut.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong-listed Chinese banks have lost an average of more than 10% this year, with some smaller lenders losing over half of their value. No final decisions have been made on Bohai Bank’s IPO, and details of the offering could change, the people said.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.