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China's Guangzhou Evergrande seeks stock exchange listing

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Pin China Guangzhou Evergrande players celebrate after scoring a goal during an AFC Champions League match in Osaka, in May 2014
China Guangzhou Evergrande players celebrate after scoring a goal during an AFC Champions League match in Osaka, in May 2014

China's Guangzhou Evergrande seeks stock exchange listing

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 120

China's most glamorous football club Guangzhou Evergrande plans to list on a minor stock exchange in a bid to attract strategic investors and boost its brand, a statement said on Thursday.

The Chinese champions, jointly owned by top property developer Evergrande and e-commerce giant Alibaba, have applied to list on China's small-cap National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ).

The request is subject to approval by NEEQ, the real estate firm said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, where it is listed.

The move was aimed at "facilitating the introduction of strategic investors, promotion of corporate image and realisation of sustainable development", it added.

Free-spending Guangzhou have led a resurgence in Chinese football since 2009, when they were demoted as part of a wide-ranging corruption crackdown.

Now coached by ex-Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, they have lifted eight trophies in the past five years, including the 2013 AFC Champions League.

This week, Guangzhou signed midfielder Paulinho for 14 million euros from Tottenham Hotspur and were linked with fellow Brazilian star Robinho.

Evergrande has a 60 percent stake in the club, while Alibaba owns 40 percent.

Evergrande said there were no plans for the club to issue new shares as part of the listing, nor would it sell any of its own holding.

NEEQ is a platform for private placings by small and medium-sized enterprises and trades in existing shares, Evergrande added.

Guangzhou registered losses of 576 million yuan ($93 million) and 482 million yuan in 2013 and 2014, state news agency Xinhua said.

The listing was announced despite share-market volatility in China with heavy losses on the two major stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen in recent weeks.

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