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ICBC IPO debuts with a bang

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is the third big state-owned bank to list its shares.

October 27, 2006

The worlds biggest IPO has got going. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China debuted on the bourses marking a milestone for China’s financial markets zooming 14.6 per cent in the Hong Kong market.

It was a moment of history when the bank’s shares debuted simultaneously in Shanghai and Hong Kong in parallel listings that enabled both domestic and foreign investors to participate. The stock sale beat the previous record $18.4 billion IPO staged by NTT DoCoMo Inc and that was way back in 1998.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China raised a minimum of $19.1 billion, and was likely to soon increase its offering to $21.9 billion. There was a hurry to pick the stock and analysts termed the rush as “buying for the China growth story”.

With China’s economy surging ahead by 10 per cent per year, the ICBC stock is expected to provide added acceleration. The IPO marked the best ever tmes for the Hong Kong and Shanghai indices as both the bourses were witnessing record performances. With the ICBC debuting well with its public issue, the market regulators in China are planning to encourage more major companies to list on the domestic share markets. The ICBC stock surged by 14.6 per cent to HK$3.52 as against its IPO price of $3.07 per share. It has been forecast that stock would further rise between up to 15 per cent.

In Shanghai, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China stock managed to raise 46.64 billion yuan, which is seen by analysts as a record for a mainland bourse. ICBC issued 14.95 billion Shanghai shares after overallotment, up from 13 billion A-shares originally planned.

ICBC is China’s biggest bank, with 6.45 trillion yuan (around US$ 816 billion) in assets. It is the third big state-owned commercial bank to list shares, part of reforms aimed at boosting the industry’s competitiveness ahead of an opening of the market to more foreign competition later this year.


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