Everbright Bank Wins Approval for Overseas Share Sale

China Everbright Bank Co. won regulatory approval to sell as many as 12 billion shares overseas, paving the way for an offering in Hong Kong.

The Beijing-based lender said in a statement to Shanghai’s stock exchange yesterday that it won China Securities Regulatory Commission permission to sell the stock. Shares of the bank traded in the city closed at 2.81 yuan.

After the share sale, the company can then apply to list its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange’s main board, which will require the bourse’s approval, according to the statement.

Everbright Bank, China’s 11th largest by market value, won board approval in March to sell as many as 12 billion shares in Hong Kong. The company had planned to raise as much as $6 billion from a sale in the city, before scaling it back to about $1.7 billion and then delaying the offering in August 2012, citing sluggish capital markets and low valuations of bank shares.

The Chinese lender said on March 12 the offer would take place within 18 months, with the exact timing to be determined “according to the state of global and Chinese capital markets.”

The MSCI All-Country World Index climbed 7.3 percent since then through 9:11 p.m. Hong Kong time yesterday. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index sank 4.1 percent, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland shares traded in Hong Kong lost 5.9 percent.

Everbright Bank shares in Shanghai have fallen 13 percent in that period. The stock was valued at 4 times 12-month projected profit, less than half the Shanghai Composite’s multiple of 8.7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

— With assistance by Michael Wei

(Corrects first paragraph to show Everbright Bank won approval to sell as many as 12 billion shares.)
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