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Home-brand Automaker Chery Plans IPO in 2008
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The Chery Automobile Co. Ltd., China's noted home-brand carmaker, plans its initial public offering (IPO) in 2008, possibly choosing both the mainland A-share market and the Hong Kong market.


Chery, which was established nine years ago in eastern China's Anhui Province, is now one of the few successful auto companies in China producing cars with Chinese brands.


Some analysts had predicted Chery to launch IPO next year, but the company's unsatisfactory profit made the decision-makers delay it to 2008.


Due to huge outlay in research and expansion, Chery's profit in 2005 was below 100 million yuan (US$13 million).


Chery's profit-earning capacity is expected to be greatly enhanced from 2006 to 2008, said Yin Tongyao, board chairman of Chery.


Chery is also afraid of being controlled by other capitals after its public offering. Some international funds having negotiations with Chery expressed their wish to hold the majority shares.


"Chery is still like a fast growing piggy," said Yin. "We're patient enough to wait for IPO until it is fully grown."


Unlike many joint ventures in the Chinese auto industry that depend on foreign technology and sell home-made cars with overseas brands, Chery relies its own research and development to turn out products with proprietary intellectual property right (IPR).


Chery has been ranked among the ten biggest automakers in China for years.


Statistics show Chery's current annual production capacity is about 350,000 cars, expected to rise to 600,000 cars in 2008.


Chery's share will sell a good price due to its high-speed expansion and concept of home-brand automaker, said Wang Zhihui, an auto analyst with the Shenyin and Wanguo Securities Research Institute.


Auto sales in China have been booming since its accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001. About 3.41 million cars were sold in between January and November this year, an increase of 40 percent year-on-year, according to figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.


The country's top 10 sedan manufacturers in the 11-month period this year are: Shanghai GM, FAW Volkswagen, Shanghai Volkswagen, Chery, Beijing Hyundai, Guangzhou Honda, FAW Toyota, FAW Xiali, Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen and Geely.


Only Chery, FAW Xiali and Geely are Chinese companies, the others are joint ventures.


(Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2006)


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