Almost a third of the shares in Harbin Brewery Group are to be sold. Harbin city government has announced today that it will sell its 29% stake in the brewer for HK$947.38m (US$121.46m).

Trading in the company's shares was suspended yesterday, pending the announcement.

The government of the north-eastern city said it will sell 291.5m shares in HBG for HK$3.25 each, a discount of 19% on their closing price of HK$4.00 on Friday.

Harbin Brewery, which is 30%-owned by SABMiller, said in a statement that the group buying the shares is not connected to the Harbin government or SABMiller.

The Harbin city government's sale of its stake in the brewery marks moves by China to shed government stakes in companies as it prepares for more foreign competition since it entered the World Trade Organisation in 2002.

Trading in the brewer's shares is expected to resume later today. The stock's value has risen by around 25% in the three months prior to Friday's close.