Wang Wei (right), chairman and founder of SF Holding, rings the bell at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, at the delivery giant's listing ceremony on Friday in Guangdong province. (Photo by Yu Ge/For China Daily)
China's courier industry is expected to enter a new stage in its development with the listing of SF Express, China's largest courier, according to analysts.
On Friday, Maanshan Dingtai Rare Earth & New Materials Co was officially renamed as SF Holding Co Ltd, marking the delivery giant's successful backdoor listing on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Its stock rallied by the 10 percent limit to 55.21 yuan (), taking its total value to 230 billion yuan, the most valuable company on the exchange and driving up the stock of other courier companies.
Founded in 1993, SF Holding's service covers more than 200 countries and regions with 34 airplanes and about 15,000 vehicles.
The listing also makes its chairman and founder, Wang Wei, worth more than 140 billion yuan, the richest man in the private delivery industry.
The entrepreneur said the biggest aim of SF Express' listing was to raise more funds in order to improve its service for more clients.
SF Holding has raised approximately 8 billion yuan though the listing and plans to invest it in aviation materials and other transport equipment, information platforms and logistic technology.
On Wednesday, the company announced that the net profit attributable to its shareholders was 4.18 billion yuan in 2016, more than the total of other three industry leaders－STO Express, Yunda Express and YTO Express, who were all listed last year.
Wang Guowen, director of the center for logistics and supply chain management at the Shenzhen-based think tank China Development Institute, said the listing can promote healthy competition.
He said: "The listing of SF Holding, in particular, puts more pressure on other courier companies and the possibility of acquisition and reorganization increases."
Although in China the courier industry generated a revenue of 400 billion yuan last year, the gross profit rate has declined from 30 percent in 2007 to five to 10 percent currently, according to a report by China International Capital Corp Ltd.
The industry faces many difficulties in infrastructure, service quality, management and employee welfare, said Gao Hongfeng, head of the China Express Association. He believes the listing of SF Holding means the industry has entered a new development stage.