Ford Motor Co (NYSE:F) has raised its stake in Jiangling Motors Corp Ltd to 31.5% and is looking to increase it to as much as 32% over the next year, both companies said on Wednesday.
Ford has bought 13,002,396 of Jiangling's Hong Kong dollar-denominated B-shares so far this year, accounting for roughly 1.5% of the Chinese automaker's outstanding shares, Jiangling said in a stock exchange filing, adding it was a sign of confidence in it by the U.S. carmaker.
Ford said it may raise its stake to 32%, the limit currently allowed by the securities regulator. After the latest purchase Ford's stake is worth about $705 million.
"We will continue to evaluate the market for JMC equity and may purchase the remaining portion of the 2 percentage points between now and January 20, 2014," it said in a brief statement.
During the first three months of this year, Jiangling, which makes JMC light trucks, SUVs, and Ford's Transit van, sold 56,420 vehicles, up 7.1% from a year earlier, outperforming a 2.5% gain in China's overall commercial vehicle sales.
Jiangling's yuan-denominated A-shares climbed 0.2% to 16.4 yuan in mid morning trading, outperforming a 0.3% fall in the CSI300 index of top Chinese companies.