Postal Savings Bank of China Co (中國郵政儲蓄銀行) filed a listing application with the Hong Kong stock exchange, people with knowledge of the matter said, as it prepares for an US$8 billion initial public offering (IPO) that could be the world’s biggest this year.
The bank, which has the most branches of any Chinese lender, aims to list as early as September, two people said on Thursday, asking not to be identified as the information is private.
An US$8 billion IPO would be the largest since e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma’s (馬雲) Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) priced its US$25 billion New York share sale in September 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Postal Savings Bank is seeking to list at one of the most turbulent times for investors in years. Britain’s vote to exit the EU roiled global equity markets and caused the pound to plunge to its lowest in more than 30 years.
The amount raised from first-time share sales globally was US$52.3 billion in the first half, the slowest pace in seven years, Bloomberg-compiled data showed.
Postal Savings Bank — founded in 2007 in an effort to boost financial services in rural areas —as of September last year had total assets reaching 6.8 trillion yuan (US$1.02 trillion at the current exchange rate) and served nearly half a billion customers, according to its Web site.
Ahead of the flotation, the Beijing-based lender has sold a one-sixth stake for more than 45 billion yuan to strategic investors including Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊), UBS Group AG, Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte and Ant Financial Services Group (螞蟻金服), which is linked to Alibaba.
Additional reporting by AFP
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