China Merchants completes HK fund raising, 96.47 pct take up offer

HONG KONG, Sept 26 Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:30am EDT

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HONG KONG, Sept 26 (Reuters) - China Merchants Bank completed the Hong Kong portion of a rights offer on Thursday with a 96.47 pct acceptance, helping the country's sixth-largest lender raise a total $5.5 billion to help meet capital requirements.

Shares in the HK$7.95 billion ($1.03 billion) Hong Kong portion of the fund raising were offered at HK$11.68 each, a 17.6 percent discount to the closing value the day before the deal was announced in August.

This was enough to tempt shareholders despite worries about capital ratios at China's small- to mid-sized banks. Earlier this month it raised 27.5 billion yuan ($4.49 billion) in the Shanghai portion of the rights issue that was taken up by 96.4 percent of shareholders.

China's largest banks are well capitalised compared to their global peers. But the same cannot be said for its small to mid-sized banks, where a pipeline of stock deals is adding up at a time of concern about their exposure to the country's slowdown and the health of their balance sheets.

"Bad debt is always a concern, but it's been priced in for this event," said Timothy Li, a banking analyst at brokerage Core Pacific-Yamaichi in Hong Kong. The discount "makes it meaningful for the shareholders to subscribe because it helps to lower the overall cost of investment."

China International Capital Corp (CICC), Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and UBS were hired as joint global coordinators, with CMB International and CM Securities also acting as joint bookrunners on the deal. ($1 = 7.7532 Hong Kong dollars) ($1 = 6.1200 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Elzio Barreto and Michelle Chen; Editing by Michael Urquhart and David Evans)

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