Best for domestic ECM 2018
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Best for domestic ECM 2018

CITIC Securities

China’s leading brokerage house, Citic Securities, was the clear dominant player in China’s equity markets. According to Dealogic, the firm achieved 55 initial public offerings in the 12 months to May, putting it in first place in the league tables by deal count.

Citic Securities, however, has experienced increased competition in the last year. The volume it raised, $11.8 billion, is less than the $14.8 billion raised by China Securities, the leader by volume. That said, Citic Securities can claim credit from the fact that it is a substantial shareholder in the rival firm, which is a joint venture between it and China Jianyin Investment Co.

The last year was largely absent big IPO deals, however. Among Citic Securities’ larger fund-raisings were the Rmb4.9 billion ($720 million) IPO of regional brokerage Huaxi Securities on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Rmb4.1 billion IPO of Caitong Securities on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The bigger deals came in the form of restructurings that involved secondary placements and asset injections. Chief among them was Citic Securities’ involvement in the Rmb26.7 billion restructuring of Nanjing-based, Shenzhen-listed smart grid power equipment manufacturing Nari Technology, which also involved the issuing of Rmb6.1 billion-worth of supplementary shares and financing. The restructuring was the largest on Shanghai’s stock exchange in 2017.

Another deal for Citic Securities, led by Beijing-based chairman Zhang Youjun, was helping the Agricultural Bank of China in the private placement sale of 25 billion shares worth Rmb100 billion to seven key investors. The transaction, which was implemented between March and July, was the largest private placement in A-share history; among the key investors were Central Huijin Investment and the finance ministry.

ABC says the sale helped it to replenish its common equity tier 1 capital and boost its capital adequacy. Maintaining the share price above Rmb3.97 per share was not always easy as the placement occurred during extreme volatility caused by the US-China trade conflict, according Citic. The Shanghai A-share market fell 7% during the month of June.