China is in the midst of an aggressive privatisation process in which key state‐owned enterprises have already tapped, or have plans to tap, international capital through initial public offerings in Hong Kong. Aims to critically assess two major SOE bank IPOs, the Bank of Communications and China Construction Bank offerings of June and October 2005, respectively, in an attempt to shed light on the evolving share ownership structure of China's leading SOEs especially the extent of capital injections from “foreign” (i.e. non‐Mainland) entities.
The objectives of this paper are pursued, as noted above, through detailed analysis of recent ownership change in two highly topical and major SOE bank cases.
The forms and mechanisms for recent “foreign” capital injection are outlined – in terms of both the private equity and IPO capital injection routes – as well as recent initiatives, in a number of SOEs, to convert non‐tradable PRC stock holdings into tradable holdings. Recent cases suggest that foreign equity fusion is taking place at an unprecedented pace and scale, and is fostered by recent innovations like “unlisted foreign shares”.
Only time will tell whether the evolving ownership patterns of China's leading SOEs result in the kind of governance and performance benefits that are eagerly anticipated. As this process of ownership is ongoing, and in some senses still in its early stages, much research will be necessary in the future to confirm whether the expectations of foreign investors and the SOEs themselves are likely to be met.
The case analysis of the evolving equity structure of SOE banks presented here provides useful background for those wishing to evaluate the merits of other SOE banks that are in the midst of IPO preparations, especially in light of the key vetting role played by the introduction of new stake holders.
In sum, this paper provides key insights on how a unique equity model is being transformed such that SOE stakeholders are rapidly, in many cases, seeking ways to share and diversify ownership risk. This paper sheds light on the mechanisms for doing so by reverting to real and highly topical examples with the SOE bank sector.
McGuinness, P. (2006), "The privatisation process and evolving share ownership structure of Mainland China's leading state‐owned enterprises", Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 37-46. https://doi.org/10.1108/13581980610644743Download as .RIS
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