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|01-07-2007, 07:20 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2005
Shares of BMW's China partner rise
CBA went up 30 % last week on US markets!
German automaker expected to buy stake, Merrill Lynch says
HONG KONG: Shares of Brilliance China Automotive Holdings, a Chinese partner of Bayerische Motoren Werke, surged Wednesday amid speculation the world's largest maker of luxury cars will buy a 20 percent stake.
Brilliance shares climbed 14.8 percent to close at 1.63 Hong Kong dollars, or 20 U.S. cents, in Hong Kong, after gaining 7.6 percent Tuesday.
Grace Mak, a Merrill Lynch analyst in Hong Kong, said in a report Tuesday that Brilliance had "admitted" that talks were underway with the BMW to buy a stake, but the parties were not close to an agreement.
Lau Hon-gay, a spokesman for Brilliance, would not comment Wednesday and officials at BMW in Germany could not be reached for comment.
The "share price surge is probably mostly due to the market speculation that BMW may buy a stake in the company," said Alice Chong, an analyst at CIMB-GK Securities (HK). "If it is true, it's positive because BMW can help upgrade Brilliance products."
The Merrill Lynch report cited "market speculation" that BMW wanted to buy a 20 percent stake for €180 million, or $240 million, valuing Brilliance at 2.45 Hong Kong dollars a share.
The report said BMW might also invest another €700 million to increase production capacity from 30,000 to 100,000 units.
The report did not cite a source for the speculation or say who at Brilliance confirmed the talks. Mak could not be contacted for comment Wednesday.
Other automakers shares in Hong Kong also climbed Wednesday. Geely Automobile, the listed unit of the largest private Chinese automaker, added 4.9 percent to 85 Hong Kong cents after earlier rising as much as 9.9 percent. Denway Motors, which makes cars in China with Honda Motor of Japan, advanced 4.8 percent to 3.52 dollars.
Nick Reilly, Asia president of General Motors, said Dec. 11. that vehicle sales in China may have climbed 26 percent to 7.3 million units in 2006, surpassing Japan to become the world's second-largest market for trucks, cars and buses.
Brilliance posted a fourth straight half-year loss in September. The loss of 113.6 million yuan, or $14 million, in the six months ended June, came after the company failed to translate higher vehicle sales into profits because of lower prices and a provision for an engine company. Losses from its own brand of sedans countered a profit from its BMW venture.
Brilliance makes BMW's 3-Series and 5-Series cars in China.
Over the past 12 months, Brilliance shares climbed 37 percent, just ahead of a 36.6 percent gain in the Hang Seng index.
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