China property firm Vanke to move foreign currency trading to HK

BEIJING Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:41pm EST

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BEIJING Jan 19 (Reuters) - China Vanke Co Ltd, the country's largest property developer by revenue, plans to move trading of its foreign currency shares to Hong Kong from Shenzen, joining an exit from the mainland's moribund B-share market.

Vanke plans to convert its B-shares, or mainland shares priced in foreign currencies, by re-listing them in Hong Kong, pending approvals form the firm's shareholder and regulators, the company said in a statement late on Friday.

"To protect shareholders' rights and interests, Vanke will arrange third-parties to provide cash options for all shareholders during the conversion from B- to H-shares," it said.

Trading in all Vanke's shares has been halted since Dec. 26, pending the announcement.

For investors who cash out, the company will offer a 5 percent premium over the closing price of its shares on Dec. 25, it said.

The total value of Vanke's outstanding B-shares was HK$16.4 billion ($2.12 billion), when the B-shares last changed hands at HK$12.50 per share, their highest since mid-2009.

China International Marine Containers (CIMC) delisted its B-shares in late November, abandoning a once-vibrant market for foreign investors that policy changes rendered a little-traded backwater. On Dec. 19 it resurrected them as H-shares, or Hong Kong-traded shares of mainland companies.

More Chinese firms are likely to emulate CIMC's exit from the B-share market that regulators want to wind down. (Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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