Estate Firms to Go Public

Ren Wei

The six-year ban on real estate companies seeking listings on the stock exchanges is expected to be lifted at this year's end as three companies receive go-ahead to sell shares to the public.

The three companies - Beijing-based Tianhong Property Co., Shenzhen-based Golden Land Property Co. and Tianjin-based Grand Development Co.- have filed listing applications to the China Securities Regulatory Commission, China Securities cited Li Bingren, an official with the Ministry of Construction, as saying.

The initial offerings won't be conducted until the securities watchdog, the State Economic and Trade Commission and the State Development Planning Commission jointly approved the applications, Li said.

"A revival in the property sector is guaranteed in tandem with this year's growth in national economy," said Wang Daxin, an investment consultant with Jinlin Securities. "The sector is approaching a steep upturn."

In mid-1990s, the State Council, China's cabinet, decided to bar further public offerings by property firms when the industry was clamped down by the Asian economic meltdown which dried up demand, leaving the sector with high vacancy rates and dropping prices.

The 33 domestic listed real estate companies turned to a combined loss of 1.1 billion yuan (US$133 million) last year from profit of 830 million yuan a year earlier.

Li said share-listings of the three firms will be conducted as a trial program.

Asked about whether more property stocks will be allowed to list shares, Li said, "It all depends."

The steel and petrochemical sectors chalked up respectable gains this year fueled by the economic growth, amid belief that they were the first industries to benefit from the expanded investment on major construction projects.

( 09/27/2000)

In This Series

China to Reform Its Securities Market

Insurers Seek to Go Public



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