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Guangzhou Auto revives IPO plan
Latest Updated by 2007-03-12 16:11:53
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Guangzhou Auto revives IPO plan

Guangzhou Automobile Group Co, one of China's top automakers, said it will revive its plan for an initial public offering (IPO) to help it meet the capital demand and develop its own vehicle brand.

"We have begun the preparation for a listing this year," Zeng Qinghong, general manager of the group, said on the sidelines of the Fifth Session of the 10th National People's Congress in Beijing. But he refused to disclose where the company planned to be listed.

It's not the first time for the group - which is also the Chinese partner of Japan's Honda Motor and Toyota Motor - to moot the listing idea.

Shanghai Securities News had earlier reported Zeng as saying the group would "definitely go public in 2006, preferring an overseas listing and will very likely list in Hong Kong". He was then at the helm of Guangzhou Honda Automobile Co, a 50-50 joint venture between Guangzhou Automobile and Honda Motor. 

In July 2005, the China Securities Regulatory Commission had allowed Guangzhou Automobile to enter the tutorship period for IPO.

This week, Zeng said there was not enough preparation for the listing last year. But "now it's time for us to sell shares as well as develop our own range of vehicles".

Zeng also promised that Guangzhou Automobile will launch its own-brand concept car this year and introduce a series of cars in the mid-to-high-range segment by 2010.

"Our group is targeting a total sales volume of 500,000 units and a revenue of over 100 billion yuan this year, and double that figure in 2010."

The group's resurrection of the IPO plan comes close on the heels of Shanghai Automotive Co's share flotation in December to fund own-brand cars and expansion in the world's second-largest auto market.

Song Bingshen, an analyst with CITIC China Securities in Beijing, said Guangzhou Automobile "will probably be listed on the mainland in view of the booming market, maybe in the first half of next year. But the group may also go public in Hong Kong as its investment holding company Denway Motors Limited has a presence there".

"IPO may ease the capital pressure on Guangzhou Automobile's capacity expansion. But I think it might go the H-share way first," said Han Yinhua, an analyst with Industrial Securities in Shanghai. "But it will definitely regress to A shares someday, both because of the booming mainland economy as well as the growing prosperity of the A-share market."

Editor: Yan

By: Li Fangfang Source: China Daily Website
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