Moribund China B-shares find escape hatch in Hong Kong relisting

By Pete Sweeney and Clement Tan

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG, Jan 7 (Reuters) – China’s biggest ship container maker has revived its moribund B-shares – mainland shares priced in foreign currencies – by relisting them in Hong Kong, sparking new life in other B-shares that may be able to emulate its exit from an obsolete market that regulators want to wind down.

China International Marine Containers (CIMC) delisted its B-shares in late November, abandoning a once-vibrant market for foreign investors that policy changes rendered a little-traded backwater, and on Dec. 19 resurrected them as H-shares , or Hong Kong-traded shares of mainland companies.

Despite a lacklustre start, CIMC’s H-shares have gained 20 percent in their brief two-and-a-half week life, triggering a hunt for other Cinderella B-shares that might follow.

“Investors weren’t too sure what to expect with the first B-to-H relisting, but after what happened with CIMC, I think people are starting to get interested,” said Hong Hao, chief strategist at Bank of Communications International Securities. “The B-to-H concept will likely remain a very strong thematic play this year.”

The firms considered most likely to follow CIMC to Hong Kong are big companies such as China Vanke Co Ltd , China’s largest listed property company, which a Hong Kong newspaper said could make an announcement as soon as this week. Continue reading “Moribund China B-shares find escape hatch in Hong Kong relisting”