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Beijing nudged Syngenta to withdraw $9 billion Shanghai IPO on market weak point, sources say By Reuters


(Reuters) -Chinese language authorities nudged Swiss agrichemicals and seeds group Syngenta to withdraw its utility for a long-delayed $9 billion IPO in Shanghai on considerations concerning the affect a sizeable new providing would have on a risky market, 4 folks mentioned.

The Chinese language state-owned pesticide large final Friday withdrew its bid for the preliminary public providing (IPO) saying the choice was taken “after cautious consideration of (the) business surroundings and the corporate’s personal improvement technique”.

Syngenta filed to record on the primary board of the Shanghai Inventory Trade final Might looking for to lift 65 billion yuan ($8.98 billion) and handed a assessment by the bourse’s itemizing committee a month later. Its executives mentioned as not too long ago as final November that Syngenta deliberate to record in 2024.

The corporate, nevertheless, didn’t safe a inexperienced gentle from China’s securities regulator or high leaders on the State Council, a prerequisite for blockbuster IPOs to go forward, mentioned the 4 folks accustomed to the matter.

The deliberate flotation lastly got here unstuck after Syngenta, owned by Sinochem, in March obtained casual directions from the China Securities Regulatory Fee (CSRC) to drag its bid for the mega itemizing, mentioned one of many folks.

The State Council Data Workplace and the CSRC didn’t reply to a request for remark. Syngenta mentioned it could not remark past the assertion it issued on Friday.

The rationale for Syngenta’s IPO withdrawal and the way in which it was managed, which haven’t been reported beforehand, underscore how Beijing is prioritising boosting investor confidence within the secondary market over the launch of recent fairness choices.

The federal government’s request for Syngenta to scrap its IPO got here regardless of the corporate’s seeds being important to meals safety and China’s self-reliance in grain manufacturing, which the nation’s leaders, particularly President Xi Jinping, have strongly promoted.

The withdrawal resulted from Chinese language authorities’ considerations over the potential affect of a sizeable IPO on the frail inventory market which had a wretched begin to the 12 months, mentioned the 4 folks with information of the matter.

Massive IPOs have usually been cited by analysts as a purpose for triggering the plunge of home inventory markets, as giant quantities of cash are frozen when subscriptions are taken, sapping liquidity within the secondary market.

China’s inventory market rout at the start of the 12 months got here after mainland shares lagged world shares for 3 years and with deflation at ranges not seen because the world monetary disaster of 2008-09.

TIGHTER SCRUTINY

China’s securities watchdog has sharply tightened scrutiny of IPOs this 12 months, resulting in firms scrapping home itemizing plans in droves, with some turning to offshore markets equivalent to Hong Kong and New York.

The stricter opinions got here after the CSRC in August final 12 months introduced plans to gradual the tempo of IPOs and fairness follow-on choices in an try to bolster the secondary market on the planet’s second-largest financial system.

Throughout January-March 2024, proceeds raised through mainland China IPOs plunged 82% from a 12 months earlier to only $2.4 billion, the smallest quarterly fundraising because the final quarter of 2018, LSEG knowledge confirmed.

The sudden chill in China’s IPO market, which was the world’s greatest in 2022 and 2023, comes after the securities watchdog, underneath new chairman Wu Qing, final month vowed to step up scrutiny of itemizing candidates and crack down on any lapses.

The itemizing of Syngenta, which was purchased by ChemChina in 2017 for $43 billion and folded into Sinochem in 2021, would have been China’s largest and one of many world’s greatest flotations this 12 months.

The providing has been postponed repeatedly by numerous points since first being filed in 2021.

The corporate initially aimed to drift on Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR Market which typically gives excessive valuations and filed the appliance in June 2021. Two years later, it shifted to the primary board for itemizing.

Syngenta mentioned in its assertion final Friday that it could look to restart the itemizing course of both in China or on a unique change, when circumstances are proper, in addition to discover different sources of funding.

© Reuters. A logo is seen at the headquarters of agricultural chemical maker Syngenta in Basel, Switzerland January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

Market analysts have beforehand cited Hong Kong, Zurich and London as potential options for a Syngenta itemizing.

($1 = 7.2357 )



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