* Pre-marketing to last a week, bookbuilding set for May 15-IFR
* Financial sector accounted for 36 pct of HK IPOs in past 5 years (Adds recent financial listings in HK, share performance)
HONG KONG, May 5 (Reuters) - Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank Co Ltd (GRCB) plans to start pitching an initial public offering of up to $1 billion to investors next week, after getting approval from the Hong Kong stock exchange, IFR reported on Friday, citing people close to the deal.
The so-called pre-marketing period will last for a week and the bank is slated to start taking orders for the IPO on May 15, added IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication.
GRCB did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment on its IPO approval and marketing plans for the deal.
Hong Kong has been a popular destination for Chinese banks, brokerages and insurers to raise capital and bolster their balance sheets, with deals from the financial sector accounting for an average of 36 percent of all new listings in the past five years, Thomson Reuters data showed.
GRCB's deal will be the largest by a financial services firm in the city since Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd's (PSBC) $7.6 billion IPO last September. It also follows the much smaller $446.3 million listing of Jilin Jiutai Rural Commercial Bank Corp Ltd in January.
Shares of Jilin Jiutai are up 14.5 percent since its debut, while PSBC climbed 4.4 percent since its listing.
ABC International, CCB International, China International Capital Corp Ltd (CICC) and China Merchants Securities were hired as sponsors for the IPO, GRCB said in a preliminary deal prospectus. (Reporting by Fiona Lau of IFR; Writing by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Randy Fabi)