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Toll road operator given IPO approval

CHINA'S securities regulator has given final approval to Sichuan Expressway Co to float shares on the Chinese mainland, the first initial public offering on the Shanghai market after nine-month hiatus, sources said.

The toll road operator plans to issue 500 million shares, 16.35 percent of its share capital, on the Shanghai Stock Exchange to raise no more than 2 billion yuan (US$293 million), according to a draft prospectus it issued to the China Securities Regulatory Commission in June last year.

The Hong Kong-listed company will spend 1.1 billion yuan buying the entire stakes in Chengle Expressway Co and use the rest to pay bank loans, according to its draft prospectus.

The regulator has allowed three smaller companies, Guilin Sanjin Pharmaceutical Co, Zhejiang Wanma Cable Co and Your-Mart Co, to be listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

"The commission chose Sanjin as the first IPO after resumption to ease investors' worries over tightened liquidity in the market, and we believe the regulator will continue to prevent sharp fluctuations in the market," said Guolian Securities Co.

Sanjin was 584 times subscribed for the key retail portion of its issue on Monday and attracted 455 billion yuan in investor subscription funds.

Zhejiang Wanma Cable Co increased the amount it will raise from the mainland's second initial public offering this year by 68 percent to 575 million yuan, it said in a statement to the Shenzhen bourse on Tuesday. The company plans to sell 50 million shares at 11.50 yuan apiece, compared to its initial target of 342.5 million yuan, according to the statement.

The regulator halted domestic new share sales in September on worries that too much equity supply might lead the market to collapse.


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