By Yifan Xie
SHANGHAI — Guotai Junan Securities Co. received regulatory approval Tuesday to raise as much as 29.7 billion yuan ($4.79 billion) in an initial public offering in Shanghai, paving the way for what could be China’s largest IPO in five years.
China’s third-largest brokerage firm by assets, which is already listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, is the latest in a string of IPOs by companies in the sector taking advantage of investors’ interest in stocks associated with China’s booming markets.
The offering would be China’s biggest IPO — excluding listings in Hong Kong — since Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (HKG:HK:1288) (OTC:ACGBF) (SHG:CN:601288) raised $20 billion in a Hong Kong-Shanghai dual listing in 2010.
Guotai Junan will issue up to 1.52 billion shares, constituting 10% to 20% of its total to replenish its capital base and supply working capital, according to its prospectus published on the website of Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission didn’t say when Guotai Junan would list.