* IPO priced at HK$2.45/share, near bottom of range-IFR
* Shares to debut in Hong Kong on July 19 (Adds recent bank IPOs in HK, underwriters)
HONG KONG, July 12 (Reuters) - Chinese city commercial lender Zhongyuan Bank Co Ltd priced its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) near the bottom of expectations, raising $1 billion to bolster its capital base, IFR reported.
The IPO of about 3.3 billion shares was priced at HK$2.45 per share, near the bottom of an indicative range of HK$2.42 to HK$2.53, IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, said on Wednesday, citing people close to the deal. That would put the total deal at HK$8.09 billion ($1.04 billion).
Zhongyuan Bank, the largest city commercial bank in central China’s Henan province, didn’t reply to a Reuters’ emailed request for comment on the IPO pricing.
It is among several smaller Chinese banks that have gone public in Hong Kong over the past several months to strengthen their balance sheets amid a boom in lending in the world’s second largest economy.
The deals have met tepid demand from retail and institutional investors in the city as concerns grow over a surge in non-performing loans and the effects of a slowdown in China on bad debts.
The stock market performance of Chinese banks recently listed in Hong Kong has been less than stellar, with shares trading between a decline of 22 percent to a gain of 7.7 percent from their IPO levels, underperforming the broader market index.
Bank of Tianjin, China Zeshang Bank, Jilin Jiutai Rural Commercial Bank and Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank were among the lenders that listed over the past several months.
Zhongyuan Bank is set to debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange on July 19.
CCB International, CITIC CLSA, CMB International and JP Morgan acted as joint sponsors of the IPO, with BoCom International, Central China Securities, First Capital Securities, GF Securities, Haitong International and SPDB International also acting as joint bookrunners. ($1 = 7.8112 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Fiona Lau of IFR; Writing by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)