By Alec Macfarlane
Postal Savings Bank of China Co. on Wednesday raised more than $7 billion as it priced its initial public offering, according to people familiar with the situation, making it the world’s largest IPO this year and the biggest since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s /zigman2/quotes/201948298/composite BABA -1.56% $25 billion listing two years ago.
China’s Postal Savings Bank, the country’s sixth-largest lender by assets, priced its Hong Kong IPO at 4.76 Hong Kong dollars per share (61 U.S. cents), toward the lower end of an indicative range of HK$4.68 to HK$5.18, the people said. That price is still a premium to the valuation of its big Chinese state banking peers, which all trade below book value. Postal Savings Bank’s shares priced above book value.
Shares are due to start trading on Hong Kong’s stock exchange on Sept. 28.
Postal Savings Bank takes deposits through a network of more than 40,000 branches across China, from Lhasa to Beijing. It operates China’s biggest distribution network in the country’s banking industry with nearly double the number of branches run by China’s Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200705246/delayed HK:1288 0.00% . The branches are mostly at post offices owned by China Post Group, its controlling shareholder, and extend deep into rural areas.
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