Shares in China International Capital Corp, the Chinese investment bank, soared yesterday after its sale of a strategic stake to internet group Tencent, as investors bet that the tie-up would boost CICC’s retail franchise.
CICC’s Hong Kong-traded shares were up as much as 19 per cent yesterday, following the announcement late on Wednesday.
Under former chief executive Levin Zhu, son of former Chinese premier Zhu Rongji, CICC led initial public offerings for many of China’s biggest state-owned enterprises in the early 2000s. But capital markets activity has shifted towards private companies, while retail investors dominate secondary-market trading.
CICC ranked 17th among Chinese securities houses by operating revenue last year, down from first place in 2005. Mr Zhu resigned in 2014. Analysts said the deal between Tencent and CICC was a signal that the investment bank was looking to upgrade its retail platform.
“What brokerages lack the most is customer acquisition channels. Tencent has a huge user base and an extraordinary trove of data that CICC could analyse to identify new customers and target products and services,” said Zhang Jingwei, non-bank financials analyst at Northeast Securities in Shanghai.