June 11, 2019 / 5:33 PM / 8 days ago

Huatai valued at up to $1.8 billion in first London-Shanghai Connect deal

LONDON (Reuters) - Huatai Securities on Tuesday set a price range of $20 to $24.50 per global depositary receipt to raise $1.2 billion, becoming the first Chinese company to sell shares in London in a deal set to value the brokerage up to $1.8 billion, one of the bookrunners handling the sale said.

Huatai share sale will effectively launch the long-awaited London-Shanghai stock connect project that was intended to begin late last year.

Order books on the deal were covered for $1.2 billion, the bookrunner said, adding that further details follow soon.

A planned December listing of Huatai shares in London was delayed at the last minute, with sources then citing uncertainty about how China’s government would treat any currency conversion back into yuan.

China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange took steps to resolve such issues earlier this year.

The company, which has a range of businesses, including brokerage, wealth management and investment banking, plans to sell up to 82.5 million new GDRs, representing 10% of the group’s total share capital.

Under the Connect, Shanghai-listed companies can raise fresh funds via London’s stock market while British companies can broaden their investor base by selling existing shares in Shanghai.

The deal is expected to price on June 14, the bookrunner said.

Huatai, whose yuan-denominated “A-shares” currently trade in Shanghai, is looking to use the proceeds of the listing to fund expansion at home and abroad.

Reporting by Clara Denina and additional reporting by Sangameswaran S; Editing by Mark Potter and Jane Merriman

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