The First Acquisition by Foreign Capital in China's Banking Sector


Newbridge Capital focused its business on financial investments in emerging markets and won fame through the acquisition of the Korea First Bank. After China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, China had quickened the process of banking reform. Shenzhen Development Bank (SDB) was the first listed bank in China. Disappointed with SDB’s performance, the Shenzhen government, the controlling shareholder of SDB, decided to sell its stake to foreign investors. For Newbridge, this was a good opportunity to generate profit by restructuring a problem bank. However, it was difficult to price the targeted shares, which were nonnegotiable. Generally, nonnegotiable shares were traded at a price much lower than that in the secondary market. Though the market-to-book ratio could serve as a pricing method, there was often much dispute over the premium above net asset per share. While the Shenzhen government was worried about being blamed for selling too cheaply, Newbridge felt anxious about SDB’s non-performing assets.


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Published by:China Europe International Business School

Publish Date:2003-01-01


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