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Shenhua Plans to Sell 1.8 Billion A Shares
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China Shenhua Energy Co, the nation's largest coal producer, yesterday said it will make an A-share offering in Shanghai, the latest among overseas-listed companies to return to the mainland.


The company plans to sell up to 1.8 billion yuan-denominated shares, Shenhua said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday.


It will use the proceeds to improve its coal, power and transport operations, and to make domestic and overseas acquisitions, the statement said.


"The move will give domestic investors more choices to benefit from the nation's booming energy industry," said Wang Ye, a veteran energy analyst with CITIC Securities, adding that it will help integrate the nation's coal industry.


"More and more Chinese coal companies have eyes on the capital market to fuel expansion," said Wang. Last year China Coal Energy, the nation's second-largest coal company, made an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong, raising as much as HK$13 billion.


China's securities regulators have been encouraging Chinese firms listed overseas to return to the A-share market to stabilize the mainland bourses. In June PetroChina, the country's largest oil and gas company, said it will make a long-awaited A-share offering in Shanghai, which could raise as much as 47 billion yuan.


Shenhua's A-share sale could raise up to 51 billion yuan. That would exceed the company's HK$25.49 billion IPO in Hong Kong in 2005, a record for a coal producer.


Shenhua's stock has gained almost fourfold since making its debut at HK$7.3 in June 2005


Shenhua gave no price range or timing for the sale. The offer is subject to approval by shareholders and the market regulator.


In another statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday, Shenhua said it agreed to pay 3.33 billion yuan to acquire Shenhua Group Shenfu Dongsheng Coal Co and Shenhua Shendong Power Co from parent Shenhua Group Corp.


The company earlier said it plans to spend 25 billion yuan annually over the next three years to expand coal mining and power generating capacity.


(China Daily July 4, 2007)


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