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Minsheng Bank sells its Haitong stake

CHINA Minsheng Bank Corp has sold its entire stake in Haitong Securities Co for about 5.46 billion yuan (US$799 million) to lock in profit.

"The company had sold 381 million shares in Haitong Securities Co as of June 22 at an average 14.33 yuan apiece," the Beijing-based lender said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange today.

The bank sold 93 million shares in Haitong in the first quarter, 130 million shares in April and the remaining 157 million shares in June.

"The sale of the stake in Haitong Securities Co in the secondary market is expected to be an important growth point for the bank's revenue this year," said Yuan Ling, an analyst at BOC International.

The sale enabled Minsheng to realize a profit of 3.8 billion yuan from its five-year investment in Haitong. Its president Hong Qi said in an earlier report that Minsheng's profit is expected to rise 35 percent this year from last year's 7.89 billion yuan.

Minsheng last year tried to sell its holdings in Haitong by auction but the attempt failed because few investors were willing to buy brokerage shares when the stock market slumped.

The lender said earlier this month that that it plans to sell up to 15 percent of its enlarged share capital in Hong Kong. The bank has 18.82 billion shares at present. It will be the seventh mainland lender to be listed in Hong Kong.

The bank said it could issue an additional 15 percent more shares if a "green shoe" option is exercised. A green shoe gives underwriters the right to sell additional shares if demand for the stock exceeds the original amount offered.


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