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Great Wall Asset Shortlisting Pre-IPO Investors

Photo: IC
Photo: IC

China Great Wall Asset Management Co., one of the four biggest bad-debt managers for banks, is narrowing the list of strategic investors ahead of a planned initial public offering (IPO).

“Global investors are very enthusiastic,” Meng Xiaodong, the vice president of Great Wall Asset, said at a news conference hosted by the banking regulator on Thursday.

“So far, some 200 institutional investors have approached us on a potential stake, of which 70 are renowned investors,” Meng said.

Great Wall Asset has been seeking investors to buy stakes of the state-owned bad-loan specialist since December, setting its stage for an IPO on at least one stock exchange on the mainland or in Hong Kong as early as this year.

Great Wall Asset, as well as other distressed-debt managers, have been stepping up acquiring distressed assets since the second half of 2016 as the banking regulator has been urging them to “return to their original mission” and absorb more toxic assets from the banking system.

During the first nine months of 2017, Great Wall Asset bought 130 billion yuan ($19.7 billion) worth of distressed assets, up 154% year-on-year, Meng added.

As part of the IPO plan, Great Wall Asset, founded in 1999, became a joint-stock company in late 2016. The Ministry of Finance now holds 97% of Great Wall Asset.

Contact reporter Leng Cheng (chengleng@caixin.com)

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