China Everbright Bank Co., which scrapped a Hong Kong stock offering last year, is lining up investors to buy as much as half of a $1.8 billion share sale that may take place as soon as this month, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
The so-called cornerstone investors may buy about $900 million of the shares sold in Hong Kong, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Not all of the investors have signed binding agreements yet, according to another person with knowledge of the offering.
Everbright, which is already traded in Shanghai, plans to sell about 4 billion new shares, the people said. The Beijing-based bank will decide in the next few days whether to conduct the offering this month or wait until September, they said.
A spokesman for Everbright’s board office in Beijing declined to comment on the share-sale plan.
Cornerstone investors typically agree to hold the stock for six months in return for a guaranteed allocation. A sale of 4 billion shares would raise about $1.8 billion, based on the lender’s closing price of 2.83 yuan in Shanghai yesterday.
Hong Kong had its slowest first half since 2009 for initial share sales amid concerns about China’s slowdown and Europe’s debt crisis. Companies raised $4.1 billion in the six months through June via first-time sales in the city, down 72 percent from the same period last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Everbright shelved a $6 billion share-sale plan in Hong Kong last August. The lender had aimed to sell 10.5 billion shares at the time, according to a term sheet sent to investors on June 14, 2011.