China Vanke Hong Kong Shares Plunge After Resuming Trading

  • Stock of developer falls 14%, the most since June 2014
  • Company is in midst of tussle with its biggest shareholder

China Vanke Co., the developer whose shares were halted last month amid a battle for control with its largest shareholder, tumbled the most in a year-and-a-half after resuming trading in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

The shares dropped as much as 14 percent, the most since June 26, 2014, and were 12 percent lower at HK$19.90 as of 9:36 a.m. local time. The stock of China’s largest publicly traded developer traded on the Shenzhen stock exchange will remain suspended pending an asset restructuring and share sale.

Vanke halted trading in its shares in Hong Kong and Shenzhen on Dec. 18, saying it is planning a share sale after little-known Baoneng Group emerged as the developer’s largest shareholder. Vanke management questioned Baoneng’s credibility and labeled the move a “hostile takeover,” prompting speculation the share sale was designed to dilute Baoneng’s ownership.

The developer said at the end of last month that it had found a potential investor and was in talks with others. The Shenzhen-based company signed a letter of intent to buy unspecified assets from a potential investor by issuing new shares and using cash, according to the statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange Dec. 29.

Baoneng replaced China Resources Co. as the largest shareholder of Vanke in December, sparking the rare public spat that eventually drew closely held Anbang Insurance Group Co. into the fray.

Anbang raised its holding in Vanke’s Shenzhen-listed shares on Dec. 17 and 18, to 7.01 percent from 5.69 percent, before the A shares were suspended. Vanke said it welcomed Anbang as an investor.

— With assistance by Emma Dong

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