China Great Wall seeks investors ahead of market listing: Reuters

China Great Wall Asset Management Corp, one of the country’s Big Four state-owned managers of distressed debt, is seeking five to eight foreign and domestic strategic investors next year ahead of a market listing, the group said late on Thursday.

China Great Wall said in December last year it planned to list in Hong Kong or mainland China in the first half of 2017.

It is seeking potential foreign investors from financial conglomerates, sovereign wealth funds, and long-term private equity funds, according to Zhang Shixue, general manager of its strategic development department.

For domestic investors, Great Wall is considering big financial institutions, state-owned conglomerates as well as private firms, Zhang said.

After the fundraising, the company will prepare for listings both in Hong Kong and on the mainland China, he said.

Great Wall is one of four Chinese asset management companies (AMCs) set up in 1999 to purchase bad loans from the country’s Big Four state-owned banks, which were facing an insolvency crisis.

Vice President Zhou Liyao said at a news conference late on Thursday Great Wall had handled more than 1 trillion yuan in bad debt from financial institutions and alleviated debt burden for more than 300 large and medium-sized state-owned companies through debt-for-equity swaps.

Great Wall is also setting up a series of new industrial funds, with a total value of 300 billion yuan ($43.7 billion), over the next three years to expand its bad debt business, including bad debt solutions, mergers and restructuring, as well as real estate.

It is raising money from social capital, banks, insurance companies as well as foreign capital for the funds, Lei Hongzhang, general manager of Great Wall’s asset operation department, said.

Presently, China has two Hong Kong-listed asset management companies, which are China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd and China Cinda Asset Management Co Ltd.