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SAIC to Purchase Parent's JV Stakes
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Shanghai Automotive Co shares surged yesterday after the firm said it will create China's biggest publicly traded carmaker by paying 19.1 billion yuan (US$2.4 billion) in stock for its parent's stakes in ventures with General Motors Corp and Volkswagen AG.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission approved the sale of 3.28 billion shares to SAIC Motor Corp, Shanghai Auto said in a statement yesterday to the city's stock exchange. The company is buying stakes in 16 units from the state-owned parent.

The listing of SAIC's main operations will help the carmaker raise funds to expand in a nation that is set to overtake Japan this year as the world's second-largest vehicle market.

"China is encouraging companies to list in their entirety to reduce transactions within their groups and to enhance transparency," said Zhang Xin, an analyst at Guotai Jun'an Securities Co in Beijing. "Access to the capital markets also makes it easier to develop new products."

Shanghai Auto's shares surged by their daily 10 percent limit to a two-year high of 6.78 yuan (86 US cents) and changed hands at 6.68 yuan (84 US cents) at the 11:30 am trading break in Shanghai.

The stock has more than doubled this year, outpacing a 78 percent increase in the benchmark Shanghai composite index.

China's vehicle sales rose 26 percent in the first 10 months of this year to 5.77 million units.

(China Daily December 1, 2006)

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