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China Shenhua Eyes $6.3 Billion Shanghai Listing

Shenhua Energy, China's top coal producer, said on Tuesday it is planning a Shanghai share listing that could raise up to US$6.3 billion to help acquire assets in China and overseas.

The planned share sale heralds a flood of listings this year that could restrain a mainland market that has quadrupled in the past year.

Shenhua said it will sell up to 1.8 billion shares, with a value of HK$49.1 billion (US$6.3 billion) based on Friday's Hong Kong close of HK$27.30 per share.

But the yuan denominated A-share listing is expected to be priced at a discount to the firm's H shares listed in Hong Kong.

The net proceeds would also be used to invest in the firm's coal, power and transportation sectors as well as strengthen its working capital base, it said.

Shenhua also said, in a separate statement, that it planned to buy Shendong Coal and Shendong Power from its parent for a total 3.3 billion yuan (US$434 million) in cash. The two firms are involved in coal and power generation businesses.

Many of China's biggest listed companies now trade in Hong Kong, which is off-limits to most mainland investors.

Beijing is now encouraging its leading companies to list shares in Shanghai or Shenzhen, heeding investor's calls for access to the country's largest firms, boosting quality on mainland bourses.

Chinese companies raise a combined 107 billion yuan in Shanghai and Shenzhen in January-May, versus a record 165 billion yuan in the whole of last year.

PetroChina, Asia's largest oil and gas producer, said last month it planned to sell up to 4 billion shares ahead of a Shanghai listing with a market value of US$6 billion.

No. 3 lender China Construction Bank and top shipping company China COSCO Holdings set plans to raise a combined US$7.7 billion in Shanghai. Shenhua said the plan was subject to shareholders' approval.