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SUV maker revisits A-share listing plan

CHINESE auto maker Great Wall Motor Co is considering resurrecting plans for a domestic A-share initial public offering as China's stock and auto markets have rebounded strongly, company executives said yesterday.

A lengthening queue of firms is jostling to list on mainland exchanges after the regulator resumed IPOs last month following a nine-month suspension, aiming to tap strong investor interest in shares while ample market liquidity has lifted the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index nearly 90 percent this year.

"We are revisiting the possibility of an A-share listing but no final decision has been made yet," said a Great Wall Motor executive with direct knowledge of the matter.

Another senior executive confirmed that a team had been set up to consider whether or not to proceed with a Shanghai IPO, which was put on hold last year due in part to a steep slump in the mainland stock markets.

Great Wall Motor, the largest Chinese sport-utility vehicle maker without a foreign partner, unveiled a plan in October 2007 to issue up to 121.7 million A shares in Shanghai.

That offering would be valued at as much as HK$1.08 billion (US$139.4 million) based on the value of the company's Hong Kong-listed shares yesterday, although mainland shares typically trade at a hefty premium to their Hong Kong counterparts.

The executives did not say how much the offering might aim to raise, although one said it could be different from the previous plan.

Both men declined to be named because of the issue's sensitivity.

Car sales in China, the world's largest auto market, have recovered strongly.


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