Huishang Bank Said to Price Shares at HK$3.53 in Initial Offer

Huishang Bank Corp., a lender in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui, sold shares at HK$3.53 (46 cents) each in its Hong Kong initial public offering, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The lender and some of its shareholders raised $1.2 billion from the sale of 2.61 billion shares, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The shares had been marketed at HK$3.47 to HK$3.88 apiece, according to a prospectus.

Huishang, based in Hefei city, is boosting capital through Hong Kong’s biggest banking IPO in nearly three years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Chinese lenders are tapping Hong Kong’s equity market as regulators maintain a freeze on domestic initial public offerings.

The offering includes 2.5 billion new shares, the prospectus shows.

Bank of Chongqing Co., based in China’s most populous city, and some of its investors raised $548 million from a Hong Kong initial offer on Oct. 31, Bloomberg data show. 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 had assets of 324.2 billion yuan ($53.2 billion), loans of 163.8 billion yuan and deposits of 239.5 billion yuan at the end of last year, according to the prospectus. The lender, founded in 2005, will use the IPO proceeds to strengthen its core capital base.

The bank’s shares will start trading on Nov. 12, the prospectus shows.

Huishang’s offering is the largest banking IPO in Hong Kong since Chongqing Rural Commercial Bank Co. raised $1.7 billion in December 2010. Excluding the Huishang sale, companies have raised $10 billion in Hong Kong IPOs this year, more than triple the amount for the same period of 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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