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ABC may price float at 2.7-3.3 yuan

06-24-2010 17:33 BJT

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhaunet) -- Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) may price the Shanghai portion of its mega float between 2.7 yuan and 3.3 yuan per share, sources close to the underwriters for the deal said on Wednesday.

The Beijing-based bank wrapped up price consultations with potential investors on Wednesday and sources said several institutional investors have agreed to buy into ABC with a total investment of over $5 billion.

Sovereign funds from the Middle East have taken a big slice of ABC's upcoming share sales, with Qatar Investment Authority and Kuwait Investment Authority buying $2.8 billion and $800 million worth of H shares respectively, a source, who declined to be named, told China Daily.

"Capital-rich sovereign funds from the Gulf are keen on ABC's offering, as they prefer long-term investments and have reaped decent returns from their earlier investment in other Chinese lenders," he said.

The source said the existing shares owned by the bank's current shareholders, namely, the Ministry of Finance, Central Huijin and the National Social Security Fund would be listed as part of the Shanghai portion, and will not be transferred to the Hong Kong market, as there are no overseas strategic investors.

Other investors include Standard Chartered, Netherlands-based Rabobank, Australian media and investment company Seven Group Holdings, Singapore sovereign fund Temasek and a couple of Hong Kong tycoons.

China Life Insurance is likely to invest $800 million in the bank, and may also be one of the largest buyers of ABC's A shares, sources said.


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