China's Dahua Tech plans up to $1 billion Hong Kong share sale: sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co Ltd 002236.SZ, a maker of security products, is planning to raise as much as $1 billion through a share offering in Hong Kong, three people with direct knowledge of the move told Reuters.

The company, whose main products include access control, advanced video surveillance systems and remote image monitoring products, is planning to launch the share sale in the Asian financial hub in the third quarter, said the people.

Dahua Tech had said in March it planned to apply for offering up to 724.85 million shares in Hong Kong, but had not provided details on the timeline as well as how much it was hoping to raise through the issuance.

The company, which has a presence in about 20 countries outside China, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The sources declined to be named as the company’s plans were not public yet.

Dahua Tech’s Shenzhen stock ended down 2.9 percent on Friday at 18.26 yuan ($2.66), giving it a market value of $7.7 billion.

Chairman Liquan Fu is the single largest shareholder of Dahua Tech with a 42.26 percent stake, and other minority shareholders include China International Fund Management and China International Capital Corp, as per Thomson Reuters data.

Dahua Tech's plan comes as Hong Kong braces for a high number of potential IPOs, spurred by a 16 percent rise this year in its benchmark share index .HSI, the sixth best-performer among Asian stock markets.

A $511 million Hong Kong IPO of WuXi Biologics (Cayman) Inc, a Chinese contract drug research and development company, on Thursday was covered multiple times on the first day of book-building, according to Thomson Reuters publication IFR.

BOCOM International Holdings Co, the Hong Kong investment banking arm of China's fifth-biggest lender Bank of Communications Co Ltd (BoCom) 601328.SS, this month raised $230 million.

An up to $5 billion listing from China's largest peer-to-peer lender Lufax and potential IPOs from e-commerce giant Alibaba's BABA.N online finance arm and Sinopec Marketing in Hong Kong are expected to help reverse last year's 22.5 percent slide in Asia-Pacific equity capital markets deals.

While Dahua Tech, which went public in Shenzhen in 2008, did not specify in March whether the Hong Kong offer will involve issuance of new shares, Chinese firms making secondary listings in Hong Kong typically issue new shares as they look to raise fresh capital.

One of the persons said the company plans to use a portion of the funds raised in Hong Kong for expansion of its overseas business and bolster its research and development capability.

The company could also target small acquisitions in developed markets, the person said.

Dahua Tech’s 2016 net profit rose 33 percent to 1.8 billion yuan ($262.58 million), and the company expects its profit in the first half of this year to surge 20-40 percent, it said in stock exchange filings last month.

Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Julie Zhu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman