Huishang Bank, Investors Said to Seek $1.3 Billion in Share Sale

Huishang Bank Corp., a lender in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui, and its investors are seeking as much as $1.3 billion from a Hong Kong initial public offering, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The bank, based in Hefei city, and some of its shareholders plan to offer 2.61 billion shares at HK$3.50 to HK$3.88 apiece, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The offering includes 2.5 billion new shares, they said.

Chinese lenders are seeking to bolster their capital through Hong Kong share sales as regulators maintain a freeze on domestic initial public offerings. Huishang’s sale would be Hong Kong’s biggest banking IPO in almost three years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bank of Chongqing Co., based in China’s most populous city, and some of its investors are seeking $593 million from a Hong Kong IPO, according to a term sheet obtained by Bloomberg News on Oct. 23. China Everbright Bank Co., which is listed in Shanghai, said Oct. 16 it won regulatory approval to sell as many as 12 billion shares overseas, paving the way for a first-time stock sale in Hong Kong.

Huishang will use IPO proceeds to strengthen its core capital base, according to a term sheet on Oct. 21. The lender plans to set a final price for its offering on Nov. 2, the terms show.

A $1.3 billion deal would be the largest banking IPO in Hong Kong since Chongqing Rural Commercial Bank Co. raised $1.7 billion in December 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

A Hong Kong-based external spokeswoman for Huishang couldn’t immediately comment on the price range when contacted by phone today. Founded in December 2005, Huishang had about 5,500 employees and 190 outlets at the end of last year, according to the lender’s website.

Companies have raised $8.6 billion in Hong Kong IPOs this year, more than double the amount for the same period of 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show.