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Order Book Overflows Ahead of IPO
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The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the country's top lender, has attracted more than US$120 billion worth of institutional subscriptions to its Hong Kong initial public offering, a source familiar with the situation said.

The bank, planning to raise around US$20 billion through its simultaneous Hong Kong and Shanghai listings, launched a global roadshow on Monday that will continue until next Thursday.

By Thursday, institutional investors in Asian markets including Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai had placed more than US$120 billion worth of orders, equivalent to 13 to 14 times the offering, the source said.

The overflowing order book is expected to continue attracting bids as the roadshow hits the United States and Europe.

ICBC is selling 35.4 billion H shares in Hong Kong, in a price range of HK$2.56 (33 US cents) to HK$3.07 (39 US cents), which is 1.96 to 2.23 times the bank's 2006 book value.

It will sell 13 billion A shares in Shanghai at the same price in yuan terms.

Depending on demand, the IPO may be increased to 40.7 billion H shares and 14.95 billion A shares.

ICBC's domestic roadshow has received a warm reception, according to media reports.

"It has received pledged subscriptions in excess of 200 billion yuan (US$25 billion) from institutional investors, the equivalent of five times the planned A-share issue," the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post reported.

ICBC is expected to raise around 40 billion yuan (US$5 billion) in Shanghai, nearly double the largest previous fund raising, by Bank of China.

The first simultaneous listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong will surpass a US$18.4 billion offer in 1998 by Japan's NTT Mobile Communications, becoming the world's largest-ever IPO.
(China Daily October 14, 2006)


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