China's Xinhua online news division launches $240 mln Shanghai IPO

SHANGHAI, June 30 Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:15pm EDT

SHANGHAI, June 30 (Reuters) - The online arm of China's official Xinhua news agency said it is seeking to raise $240 million in an initial public offering, the second state media firm to go public as Beijing looks to transform the sector into a more commercial one.

Xinhuanet Co Ltd, which plans to list in Shanghai, is aiming to raise about 1.5 billion yuan ($240 million) by selling 51.9 million shares, it said in its prospectus posted on the China Securities Regulatory Commission website on Friday.

A listing would follow the 2012 debut of People.cn Ltd , the online site for the People's Daily, which also has ties to the central government and which raised more than twice its targeted amount.

Xinhuanet said the funds will be used for five different projects including a data analysis system and an online education scheme.

The sale will be underwritten by China International Capital Corp. ($1 = 6.2180 Chinese Yuan Renminbi) (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Kazunori Takada and Edwina Gibbs)