Bocom International Said to Seek Pitches for $200 Million IPO

  • Investment-banking unit seeks listing by first quarter of 2017
  • China approved Bank of Communications reform plan last year

Bocom International Holdings Co., the overseas advisory arm of China’s fifth-largest lender, has asked investment banks to submit proposals on a potential Hong Kong initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Bocom International, owned by Bank of Communications Co., is considering listing by the first quarter of next year, the people said. The share sale could raise about $200 million, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

A deal would make Bank of Communications, which is part-owned by HSBC Holdings Plc, the first of five biggest Chinese lenders to list an investment-banking unit. China’s cabinet last year approved a sweeping plan to reform Bank of Communications as the government seeks a more market-driven financial industry to aid economic growth.

The plan calls for Bank of Communications to explore adding private capital and giving strategic investors a more effective role, in addition to offering stock incentives for employees and management. Peng Chun, the bank’s president, said last August that the lender aimed to implement the reforms within a year.

Bank of Communications is still weighing the plans to list Bocom International, and there’s no certainty it will proceed with a deal, one of the people said. A representative from Bank of Communications declined to comment, while a representative for Bocom International didn’t immediately return a phone call and e-mail seeking comment.

— With assistance by Heng Xie, and Regina Tan

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.