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    Chinese Grocery Chain Prepares IPO

    SHANGHAI - Lianhua Supermarket Holdings here, one of China's largest supermarket chains, launched the pretrading process of its initial public offering yesterday.

    SHANGHAI - Lianhua Supermarket Holdings here, one of China's largest supermarket chains, launched the pretrading process of its initial public offering yesterday, with the hope of raising $60.95 million to $80.18 million to finance future expansion. Public trading in the company is expected to begin June 27 on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

    Citing figures from ACNielsen, Lianhua said there were more than 170,000 retail chain outlets in China by the end of 2001, representing an 82.2 percent compound annual growth rate. The company hopes to capitalize on that trend. As of December 31, it operated 1,844 units, including 504 supermarkets and 740 convenience stores.

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