Bank of Tianjin Said to Price $949 Million IPO Near Bottom End

Bank of Tianjin Co., a commercial lender based in the northern Chinese port city, and its owners raised $949 million after pricing a Hong Kong initial public offering near the bottom end of a marketed range, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The bank and some existing investors sold a combined 995.5 million shares at HK$7.39 apiece, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The shares were offered at HK$7.37 to HK$9.58 each, according to the lender’s prospectus.

Bank of Tianjin is the first company to price a Hong Kong IPO of more than $300 million this year, as the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rebounds from a roughly seven-year low hit last month. The offering will add to the $861 million raised from first-time share sales in the city this year, the slowest start since 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

A Hong Kong-based external spokeswoman for Bank of Tianjin declined to comment.

The three Chinese lenders that listed in Hong Kong last year are all trading above their IPO prices, with Bank of Jinzhou Co. rising 27 percent since its December listing. China Zheshang Bank Co., a commercial lender in eastern China, is scheduled to price its $1.75 billion first-time share sale Monday.

Seven cornerstone investors, including government-owned China State Shipbuilding Corp. and Tianjin-based commodities trader Tewoo Group Co., agreed to buy about $560 million of stock in Bank of Tianjin’s offering. The stock is scheduled to begin trading March 30, according to its prospectus. 

ABC International Holdings Ltd., BOC International Holdings Ltd. and CCB International Holdings Ltd. are joint sponsors of the listing.

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