China’s Vanke strengthens hand against takeover bid

Shares in Chinese property firm Vanke have see-sawed recently amid a hostile blue-chip takeover battle initiated by private conglomerate BaonengShares in China's biggest property firm Vanke surged Friday after it announced a stock-holding shift that could end a bid by private conglomerate Baoneng to pull off the country's first hostile blue-chip takeover. Vanke's leadership has for more than a year sought to fend off Baoneng's advances, which also have prompted an official government denunciation of "barbarian" takeover attempts. Baoneng had since 2015 built up a 25 percent stake to become Vanke's biggest shareholder in what has emerged as a test of how much progress China's often dysfunctional stock market and corporate world were making in opening up to free-market practices such as blue-chip takeovers.

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