Postal Savings Bank of China Co. is poised for the country’s biggest initial public offering since 2015.
The Beijing-based lender, which is already listed in Hong Kong, plans to raise 28.4 billion yuan ($4.1 billion) in what would be the world’s third-largest listing this year behind Uber Technologies Inc.’s $8.1 billion share sale in May and Budweiser Brewing Co.’s $5.8 billion IPO in Hong Kong in September.
One of China’s largest state-owned lenders, Postal Bank plans to issue 5.17 billion A-shares at 5.5 yuan per share, according to its Shanghai stock exchange filing Wednesday, which confirmed an earlier Bloomberg report.
If the bank fully exercises an over-allotment option of up to 776 million shares, the fundraising size may reach as much as 32.7 billion yuan, surpassing Guotai Junan Securities Co.’s 30 billion yuan offering in 2015. In doing so it would become the largest A-share listing since Agricultural Bank of China Ltd.’s 68.5 billion yuan offering in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The country’s banks are boosting capital at a record pace, mostly through debt sales, to beef up financial strength as they grapple with rising bad debt. Policy makers have also called on lenders to help revive its economic growth and increase loans to China’s cash-starved non-state sector, which would see them take on more risk. China’s equity financing market is heading to the first increase in volume this year since 2016.
Postal Bank has more than 40,000 outlets nationwide and over 550 million retail customers. The stock has gained 23% in Hong Kong this year. The A-share offer price represents a premium of about 20% to Tuesday’s close of HK$5.1 in Hong Kong. The stock rose 0.4% as of 11:16 a.m. in the city, after losing as much as 0.8% in morning trade.
Subscription was postponed to Nov. 28, from the original date of Thursday. China requires companies that price their shares above industry average to file risk warnings to investors for three weeks.