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Harbin Bank Said Planning to Price $1.1 Billion IPO Near Low End

A Branch Of Harbin Bank in Harbin
Pedestrians walk past a branch of Harbin Bank Co. in Harbin, China. Harbin Bank is raising capital at a time when the nation’s lenders are being squeezed by slower economic growth and rising bad debts as policy makers open up the financial system to non-government competitors. Source: Imaginechina

March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Harbin Bank Co., a Chinese lender near the nation’s border with Russia, and its shareholders will raise about $1.13 billion from a Hong Kong initial public offering, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The lender plans to price its sale of 2.75 billion new shares at HK$2.90 each, near the bottom end of a marketed range, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. State-owned shareholders will sell about 275 million existing shares at the same price.

Harbin Bank is raising capital at a time when the nation’s lenders are being squeezed by slower economic growth and rising bad debts as policy makers open up the financial system to non-government competitors. The offering is Hong Kong’s second-biggest first-time share sale this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The shares were marketed at HK$2.89 to HK$3.33 apiece, according to the IPO prospectus. Cornerstone investors including Fubon Life Insurance Co. and Citic Capital Holdings Ltd. agreed to buy $512 million of stock in the offering, the prospectus shows.

An external spokeswoman for Harbin Bank declined to comment on the final price. Harbin Bank plans to start trading on March 31, the prospectus shows.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fox Hu in Hong Kong at fhu7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net Ben Scent

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