November 5, 2018 / 7:29 AM / 14 days ago

Stake in Tencent-backed WeBank to be auctioned after court ruling

BEIJING/HONG KONG, Nov 5 (Reuters) - A stake of Chinese private lender WeBank, which counts gaming and social media firm Tencent Holdings Ltd as a major shareholder, is being auctioned with a price tag of 441 million yuan ($63.63 million) following a court ruling.

Shenzhen Brightoil Petroleum Group Co, WeBank's fourth-largest shareholder, has been forced to sell 12.6 million WeBank shares at 35 yuan each, showed an auction announcement on Taobao, the flagship e-commerce site run by Tencent rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

In total, Brightoil owns 120 million WeBank shares, or a 2.857 percent stake, showed a disclosure accompanying the announcement.

The price implies a total valuation of 147 billion yuan ($21.3 billion) for online-only WeBank, which has kept its valuation confidential, showed Reuters' calculations based on the disclosure.

WeBank, in a text to Reuters, said shareholding transfers of a private bank must follow certain regulations, and that the bank is seeking information from relevant parties.

The stake was put up for auction by the Shanghai No.1 Intermediary People's Court after Brightoil failed to repay a loan to Ping An Bank Co Ltd, the disclosure showed.

The auction will officially start on Dec. 3, the announcement showed.

The bank earned 1.45 billion yuan in profit for the year of 2017, at the end of which its assets totalled 81.7 billion yuan, the disclosure showed. ($1 = 6.9155 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Shu Zhang in BEIJING and Kane Wu in HONG KONG; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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