China's Top Supermarket Seeks Stock Listing

SHANGHAI - Lianhua Supermarket Co., China's largest retail chain, is looking to list its stock publicly, but hasn't yet decided where or when, a senior company official told Dow Jones today. An industry source familiar with Lianhua was quoted as saying that the retailer is gearing up to compete with international giants, such as Carrefour and Wal-Mart by aggressively expanding in China.

"We aren't sure which city we will list in, nor have we chosen a brokerage to arrange our listing," said Wang Jian, board secretary at Lianhua Supermarket. But he said at the end of last year, Lianhua started the year-long tutorial program which is a prerequisite for all companies in China looking to list. The program teaches the company management securities regulations, accounting rules, and corporate governance issues.

Wang added that Lianhua hasn't decided how many shares it will issue or how much money it plans to raise through the listing. But he said Lianhua plans to boost its number of shops to 7,000 from the current 1,300 by 2007.
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