China bank aims for IPO in 2011

China's Guangdong Development Bank, controlled by Citigroup, is drafting plans for an initial public offering that will likely take place next year, a source familiar with the situation said.

The mid-sized lender had yet to determine the location and size of the offering, which could consist of mainland-listed A shares, Hong Kong-listed H shares or a combination of the two, the source said yesterday. Guangdong Development Bank had no comment on the matter.

A Citigroup-led consortium bought control of Guangdong Development Bank in 2007 for $3.1 billion (Dh11.37bn) after a protracted bidding battle with French rival Societe Generale and helped turned around the struggling lender.

Last year, the bank posted a profit for a third consecutive year, clearing a hurdle for eligibility to list its shares on the mainland, and was eager to list as quickly as possible although plans were still at a preliminary stage, the source said.

Total assets doubled to Y666.5bn (Dh358.6bn) in 2009 from three years earlier, while net profit jumped 22 per cent last year as loans rose at the same pace to Y390.9 billion, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on March 12, citing President Michael Zink, a former Citigroup executive.

Citigroup, with a 20 per cent stake, holds de facto management control of Guangdong Development Bank. China Life, the country's largest life insurer, also owns 20 per cent of the lender.

 

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