SHANGHAI/HONG KONG - Chinese minivan maker Chongqing Changan Automobile said on Wednesday it was considering a Hong Kong listing, but probably not this year.
In the meantime, Changan, which also makes compact cars through tie-ups with Suzuki Corp. and Ford Motor Co., said it was looking at issuing additional A shares on the domestic market.
"This (Hong Kong listing) is not going to be possible this year. We can't list in Hong Kong now. It's something we're considering, though," a company executive said by phone from Chongqing.
The firm's comments followed a report in Wednesday's South China Morning Post quoting a company spokeswoman as saying Changan wants a Hong Kong listing to help fund expansion.
Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. Ltd., which has A and B shares listed in China, said it was considering domestic capital-raising to meet its funding requirements.
"Right now we're focusing on issuing new A shares to raise capital. There's no plan right now to list elsewhere," the company executive said.
Last December, Chongqing Changan signed a framework agreement with Citigroup, which will advise the carmaker on its overseas fundraising plan, the Hong Kong newspaper said.
Parent firm Changan Automobile Group Liability Corp.'s Chairman Yin Jiaxu said in November the company has various plans to raise funds overseas in 2004, including issuing H-shares in Hong Kong, and bonds.
The South China Morning Post said Chongqing Changan needs funds for an ambitious expansion program that includes raising output to more than 500,000 units, from 300,000 last year.
China's number-three automaker, Dongfeng Motor Corp., is planning a Hong Kong listing worth at least $1 billion, possibly this year. Two other Chinese automakers listed in late 2003 in Hong Kong IPOs that were heavily subscribed.
China's car sales rose by roughly 80 percent in 2003 to top two million. Billions of dollars in expansion planned by foreign and domestic carmakers in China has triggered fears of a looming capacity glut.