China's Postal Savings Bank raises $7 bln from stake sale to 10 investors

China's Postal Savings Bank raises $7 bln from stake sale to 10 investors

BEIJING, Dec 9 (Reuters) - China's Postal Savings Bank said it had raised $7 billion from a 17 percent stake sale that attracted 10 strategic investors, including UBS Group AG and JPMorgan ahead of an initial public offering planned for next year.

The deal values the bank, China's sixth-biggest by assets but the largest by customers and number of branches, at $41 billion. The bank said in a statement that the sale was the single biggest private fund-raising in China's financial industry.

Other foreign investors include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, DBS Group, and the International Finance Corp, the World Bank's private sector development arm.

China Life Insurance Co. , Alibaba's Ant Financial unit, Tencent Holdings, and China Telecom Corp were among domestic investors.

China Postal, with more than 40,000 branches nationwide and nearly 500 million customers, is preparing for an IPO which could raise between $12 billion and $15 billion next year, bankers pitching for an underwriting role have said.

Company president Lu Jiajin declined at a briefing on Wednesday to provide a timeline for the lender's IPO or its likely size.

UBS and JPMorgan said in separate statements they would undertake strategic cooperation with China Postal, leveraging their global commerical and investment banking networks, as well as providing services to China's increasingly affluent population.

The bank reported after-tax profit of 32.57 billion yuan ($5 billion) in 2014, according to a stock exchange filing by China Life late on Tuesday.

China Life said it will pay 13 billion yuan for 3.342 billion subscription shares. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board said it has invested 3.2 billion yuan. ($1 = 6.4248 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Clark Li and Matthew Miller; Additional reporting by Meng Meng in Beijing and Fiona Lau at IFR; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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