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CITS preps for overseas listing
16/1/2007 17:36

Jane Chen / Shanghai Daily news

China International Travel Service and China Duty Free Group, two key arms of CITS Group Co, are transferring part of their subsidiary companies to their parent, in preparation for separate overseas share-floats reportedly planned for October, Xinhua News Agency cited a close source to the companies as saying today.

Starting from November 2006, CITS and Duty Free Group have discussed the asset split involving 52 of its subordinate firms.

State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission has initiated the move, according to an industry insider cited in the Xinhua report.

"The commission hopes the best quality assets will remain by CITS and Duty Free Group after the one-year split program, so that their overseas share-floats will become smoother," the insider said.  He added that the two companies may be listed in Hong Kong or other overseas markets.

A CITS official declined to confirm the listing plan yesterday.

Du Ping, an official with CITSí»s marketing department, described it as inconvenience to be interviewed as the company's general managers were not in office.

"Besides, the restructuring program is not yet decided and it's inappropriate for the company to comment now", he added.

Despite that, analysts regard the assets splitting program very likely, citing CITS general manager Yao Yuecan, who had indicated a possible company restructuring two months ago.

"The company will consider absorbing good assets of its 50 local travel agencies to improve the corporative structure," he said last November during China International Travel Mart.