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Herbert Smith Freehills advises on China Merchants Bank's US$1 billion rights shares HK offering

07 October 2013

Category: News, China, Hong Kong
By Asia Asset Management

Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised China Merchants Bank on its 680,423,172 H-rights shares issuance which raised approximately US$1 billion in Hong Kong. The bank's latest H-rights offering follows its Shanghai Stock Exchange listing of 2,962,813,544 A-rights shares in September, which raised approximately $4.5 billion.
 
A rights issue is a way for listed companies to raise capital. Companies do this by giving their existing shareholders a right to acquire further shares at a certain discount in proportion to their existing shareholdings. The H-rights shares, when allotted and fully paid, will rank pari passu in all respects with the H-shares then in issue. Holders of fully-paid H-rights shares will be entitled to receive all future dividends and distributions which are declared, made or paid after the date of allotment and issue of the H-rights shares.
 
The Shenzhen-headquartered bank, the country's sixth-largest lender by assets, launched a rights share issuance on the basis of offering 1.74 rights shares to every ten existing shares. The H-rights shares commenced trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on October 2, 2013. In total, China Merchants Bank's rights issuances raised gross proceeds of approximately $5.5 billion in both venues. The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by Beijing Partner Tom Chau, who was assisted by Hong Kong associates Sherry Lai and Lawrence Wang.
 
In 2010, Herbert Smith Freehills also advised China Merchants Bank on its $3.2 billion global rights issuance, which consisted of a public offering of A-shares, and both public and private H-shares offerings to institutional investors outside China and Hong Kong.
 
CICC, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and UBS were joint global co-ordinators on the H-share rights issue, and joint lead underwriters with China Merchants Securities and CMB International. China Merchants Finance Holdings acted as the shareholder underwriter.  
 
CICC and Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities were joint leads on the A-share portion.
 

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