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China's COSCO to Go Public in Shanghai
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China's biggest shipping firm, Cosco Holdings, is hoping to raise at least 13.5 billion yuan (US$1.78 billion) when it launches 1.78 billion yuan-denominated shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange this month.

A statement from the company said it was offering the shares at an indicative price of 7.60 to 8.48 yuan each, cheaper than its Thursday closing price on the Hong Kong Exchange of 9.64 Hong Kong dollars.

It is a rare example of a Chinese company returning to the mainland market, said securities brokers, who anticipated that the price would rise to 15 yuan by June 19.

The company would use the capital raised to buy 51 percent of Cosco Logistics Co. and 12 new container ships, according to its listing prospectus. The funds will also be used to build new quays and for other logistics projects, it said.

The company said 30 percent of the offering will be made available to strategic investors, 25 percent to institutional investors and the rest to retail investors.

Online purchases of the shares will begin on June 18, said the statement.

The company is scheduled to make its trading debut on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on June 26, said a US-based news agency.

However, a woman who works with lead underwriter China International Capital Corp. said that the trading date has not been fixed and the State Securities Regulatory Commission will issue a statement later to inform investors of the date.

On June 4, China's securities regulatory body approved COSCO's IPO in Shanghai and said the company's entire capital stocks should not exceed 8.9 billion shares.

(Xinhua News Agency June 16, 2007)

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