Citigroup-linked China brokerage plans IPO
Citigroup-linked China brokerage proposes $1.6bn Shanghai IPOReuters

Orient Securities Company Limited, the joint venture partner of a Citigroup unit, proposes to raise 10bn yuan (£1bn, €1.4bn, $1.59bn) through a Shanghai floatation.

The brokerage proposes to issue up to 1 billion shares, according to a prospectus posted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange website.

Funds raised will be used for working capital purposes and to expand business, among other things.

Orient's initial public offering (IPO) was one of 24 deals approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), on 2 March.

The regulator is seen accelerating the pace of listings in China in an attempt to cool down the red-hot equity markets.

Brokerages like Orient have seen profits double as retail investor numbers rise and trading volumes surge, boosted by the central bank's unexpected interest rate cut in November 2014, Reuters reported.

Volumes have also been boosted by the Stock Connect scheme, which opened the same month, allowing direct trading of Shanghai and Hong stocks on each other's bourses.

Orient Securities set up a joint venture brokerage -- Citi Orient Securities Co Ltd -- with Shanghai-Citigroup Global Markets Asia in 2012, according to the JV's website.

Citi Orient is headquartered in Shanghai and has a registered capital of 800m yuan.