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    600958   CNE100001ZV6

ORIENT SECURITIES COMPANY LIMITED

(600958)
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Orient Securities : Citigroup to ramp up Chinese investment banking plan - source

04/19/2021 | 06:16am EDT
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Citi bank is pictured in Thailand

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Citigroup plans to expand its investment banking business in China and will soon apply to set up local underwriting, sales and trading and futures trading businesses by the end of June, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The move comes after the U.S. bank revealed last week it would sell its retail banking assets in 13 markets, including mainland China.

Citigroup's applications to regulators are being finalised and should be officially lodged shortly, the source said.

The expanded investment banking unit could employ about 100 people, consisting of existing employees and new hires, by the time it is operational, the person added.

When contacted, a Citigroup spokesman declined to comment.

Citigroup's move reflects "the broad trend of China's opening up, and local brokerages are fully prepared for the foreign competition," said Zhu Feifei, analyst at Huafu Securities Co.

Zhu said that China represented a huge potential market for foreign players, but it would take time for them to win market share.

A local underwriting licence would allow Citigroup to participate in the fast-growing mainland Chinese IPO market, especially the STAR Board, which is dominated by local institutions.

There were $8.9 billion worth of IPOs on the main Shanghai Stock Exchange board, STAR Market and Shenzhen ChiNext in the first quarter of 2021, according to Refinitiv data.

Regulatory rules require lead underwriters for STAR IPOs to buy 2% to 5% of stock on sale and hold it for two years. This requirement has discouraged foreign institutions, as it ties up capital, leaving the market to be dominated by major Chinese banks.

Citigroup sold its stake in its Chinese joint venture with Orient Securities in 2019, paving the way for the U.S. bank to launch its own investment bank, as China opened up its brokerage sector.

The bank was given a domestic custody licence last year and already has licences to settle and underwrite bonds in mainland China.

(Additional reporting by Samuel Shen in Shanghai; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

By Scott Murdoch


ę Reuters 2021
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Sales 2021 27 058 M 4 183 M 4 183 M
Net income 2021 5 085 M 786 M 786 M
Net Debt 2021 - - -
P/E ratio 2021 25,5x
Yield 2021 1,81%
Capitalization 109 B 16 944 M 16 920 M
Capi. / Sales 2021 4,04x
Capi. / Sales 2022 3,62x
Nbr of Employees 6 339
Free-Float 53,6%
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Number of Analysts 9
Last Close Price 17,22 CNY
Average target price 15,11 CNY
Spread / Average Target -12,3%
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Wen Zhong Jin Chairman & President
Jian Hui Zhang CFO, Vice President & Financial Controller
Qian Zhang Chairman-Supervisory Board
Bin Yang Chief Risk Officer & Compliance Controller
Zhi Ming Xu Independent Non-Executive Director
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