China pic giants eye IPOs

China Film, Shanghai seek stock exchange listing

BEIJING — China’s two biggest shingles, China Film Group and Shanghai Film Group, have submitted applications to list on the Shanghai stock exchange, the country’s securities regulator said.

The listings come as regs encourage state-owned companies to seek initial public offerings, which will allow them to better compete with privately held shingles like Huayi Brothers and Bona Film Group.

Their application to list was posted on the China Securities Regulatory Commission website.

China Film Group Corp. is a colossus in the Chinese biz, controlling production and distribution and the only importer of foreign movies in the country. Some 40% of Chinese B.O. accrues to China Film and it owns six cinema chains. China Film restructured last year ahead of its listing.

Shanghai Film Group is a unit of Shanghai Media and Entertainment Group, and is one of the biggest congloms in China. There are reports that if Shanghai Media succeeds in its listing that it could be appointed the second importer of foreign pics into China.

It’s been a quiet year for stock market listings in China as the stock market has been sluggish in 2012, but media stocks do generate interest as they are tightly controlled and their sheer scarcity makes them attractive to investors.

There has been a lot of hype about Chinese IPOs in the biz since private shingle Huayi Brothers raised $93.7 million listing on the Shenzhen board in late 2009. In 2010, Bona listed on the U.S. Nasdaq.

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