Central Huijin to Sell off Stake in Everbright Bank, Paves Way for Listing of Everbright Group

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State-owned investment giant Central Huijin Investment has withdrawn its equity stake in joint-stock lender China Everbright Bank as part of preliminary arrangements for the listing of Everbright Group.

China Everbright Bank has just announced that the Ministry of Finance (MOF) had approved Central Huijin’s sale of all of its 19.53% stake in Everbright Bank to Everbright Group.

The move will sever any direct ownership relationship between Central Huijin and Everbright Bank, while increasing Everbright Group’s stake in the bank to 44.96%.

MOF also gave its approval to the issuance of new shares by Everbright Group to Central Huijin, to make it an indirect owner of Everbright Bank.

The proposed share changes are still subject to the approval of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).

Everbright Bank’s Hong Kong-listed subsidiary China Everbright Limited also holds 3% in Everbright Bank.

Domestic analysts say that the shift in Everbright Bank’s ownership will help pave the way for listing of Everbright Group.

In March 2018 Everbright Group chairman Li Xiaopeng (李晓鹏) said that “creating conditions and choosing an opportune time for listing is the strategic option for Everbright Group to create a world-class enterprise,” although he did not provide a specific schedule for listing.

In September 2019 Wu Lijun (吴利军), party secretary and director of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, was appointed chair and general manager of Everbright Group, prompting further speculation that the move would bring greater expertise to a prospective listing.

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