China Equity House: Citic Securities

IFR Asia Awards 2022
2 min read
Fiona Lau, Karen Tian

Around the world

Unparalleled product coverage, strong cross-border capabilities and a deep understanding of regulatory changes allowed Citic Securities to stand out in 2022, trumping rivals domestically and globally.

Raising US$30.1bn through 148 transactions comfortably put Citic at the top of the China equity and equity-related league table, according to Refinitiv data.

Despite the Covid-19 lockdowns that hindered China’s economic growth and concerns about the property sector, China’s equity market remained active thanks to ample domestic liquidity as well as measures to encourage the return of red chips and listings of innovative companies.

With around 2,600 bankers in its investment banking division, Citic covered top clients in key industries and offered them comprehensive solutions both at home and abroad. Its longstanding relationship with the Chinese regulators and deep understanding of the markets also allowed it to act quickly following rule changes.

The Rmb32.3bn (US$4.8bn) Shanghai listing of Hong Kong-listed CNOOC is one example. The US shares of China’s top offshore oil and gas producer were delisted by the New York Stock Exchange in October 2021 after the US government added it to an economic blacklist.

Citic believed CNOOC was undervalued because of the blacklist and an A-share listing would help boost its value. In September 2021, China expanded a pilot scheme to allow more overseas-incorporated Chinese companies or “red chips” to return home to list if they are from certain sectors such as next-generation IT and environmental technology, or of national strategic importance.

Sole sponsor Citic used the opportunity to help CNOOC expand its shareholder base through the domestic listing in April, and CNOOC’s A-shares soared 28% to Rmb13.79 on their Shanghai trading debut.

Apart from homecoming deals, Citic also arranged the Rmb10.99bn float of diagnostic imaging device manufacturer Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare, the largest Shanghai Star IPO in 2022, the Rmb7.6bn convertible bond of Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, and the Rmb15bn private placement of China Eastern Airlines.

Leveraging its international experience, Citic helped Chinese companies raise funds in a new venue – the SIX Swiss Exchange.

The bank arranged the US$319m Swiss GDR listing of Shanghai-listed lithium-ion battery materials maker Shanshan and the US$346m Swiss GDR listing of Shenzhen-listed GEM, which recycles batteries and metals such as cobalt and nickel. The two deals were among the first batch of four Chinese companies completing Swiss GDR listings in July.

In Hong Kong, Citic led the HK$4.24bn listing of ChiNext-listed JL Mag Rare-Earth in January.

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