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October 31, 2009

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Home » Business » Finance

Minsheng, Sands win IPO nod

CHINA Minsheng Banking Corp and Las Vegas Sands have won approval from the Hong Kong stock exchange for more than US$6 billion in combined initial public offerings, sources said yesterday, as the companies try to cash in on an IPO window that may be slowly shutting.

Minsheng aims to raise more than US$4 billion in an IPO in Hong Kong, sources involved with the deal said, which could make it the fourth-largest IPO in the world so far this year.

At the same time, Las Vegas Sands plans to raise US$2 to US$3 billion by listing the gaming company's Macau unit in Hong Kong, sources said.

"Banking IPOs draw investor appetite so as to tap China's booming economy," said Alex Tang, director at Core Pacific-Yamaichi International.

Tang pointed out, however, that Minsheng, the Chinese mainland's first listed non-state bank, would not escape the rising pressure on Hong Kong IPOs lately. "But those IPOs should price at a discount to peers amid the volatile Hong Kong stock market."

A spokesman for Las Vegas Sands was not immediately available for comment. Minsheng was not immediately available for comment.

Minsheng's IPO move came after the Beijing-based lender failed to launch its Hong Kong IPO at least twice in the past few years due mainly to unfavorable market conditions.

The mid-size lender expects to issue up to 15 percent of its enlarged capital, or up to 3.32 billion shares. There will be a greenshoe option to increase the issue by an additional 15 percent.

The bank aims to kick off the roadshow for its Hong Kong offering on November 9, the sources said. Minsheng's trading debut is set for November 26, according to a source directly involved in the deal.

UBS, China International Capital, BOC International and Macquarie are handling Minsheng's deal.

Nevada-based Sands will kick off pre-marketing next week and start its marketing roadshow on November 9, with a trading debut set for the end of November, according to sources.

None of the sources could be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the offering.

Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and UBS AG are the joint global coordinators for the IPO, according to the sources. All three banks are also bookrunners for the deal, along with BNP Paribas and Barclays.

The operator of the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas is seeking to list its Macau business in Hong Kong to boost the value of its overall business.


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