China's Sinopharm gets OK for $1 bln HK IPO

HONG KONG, July 29 (Reuters) - Sinopharm Holdings, majority owned by state-run China National Pharmaceutical Group, has been granted approval by Chinese officials to list in Hong Kong, sources said on Wednesday, in an IPO that could raise up to 7 billion yuan ($1.03 billion).

The parent company plans to list drug distributor Sinopharm in September and is waiting for the Hong Kong Exchange’s approval, said the banking sources who were not authorised to speak publicly about the deal.

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical 600196.SS, a unit of Hong Kong conglomerate Fosun International 0656.HK, owns 47 percent of Sinopharm, according to a spokeswoman from Fosun International.

UBS AG UBSN.VX, CICC and Morgan Stanley MS.N are among the banks handling the offering, the sources said.

China National Pharmaceutical Group Corp is China’s largest pharmaceutical group, incorporating research with production and in charge of national centralised reserves and the allocation and supply of emergency and relief medicines.

Sinopharm Holdings is the largest distributor in the Chinese pharmaceutical market. It owns majority stakes in fellow drug distributors China National Medicines 600511.SS and Shenzhen Accord Pharmaceutical 000028.SZ.

Reporting by Fion Li; Additional reporting Donny Kwok and Moxy Ying; Editing by Michael Flaherty and Jonathan Hopfner