New World China raises US$325m

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 May, 2007, 12:00am

New World China Land, the mainland property arm of New World Development, raised US$325 million from the sale of bonds convertible into shares to fund expansion on the mainland, sources said.

The five-year, zero-coupon bonds, priced to yield 0.75 per cent annually, can be converted into New World China Land shares at HK$8.044 each, a 40 per cent premium to the reference price of HK$5.7459.

The shares were last traded at HK$5.91 on Thursday, before being suspended from trading yesterday.

The securities, which carry a put option after three years, were yuan-denominated but would be settled in US dollars, market sources said. Deutsche Bank is the sole book runner of the sale.

New World China's shares have risen 54.75 per cent over the past 12 months, outperforming the 22.49 per cent increase in the Hang Seng Index.

CLSA on Thursday rated the property stock 'buy', with a target price of HK$7.20.

Developers with a mainland focus are rushing to tap funding in a booming stock market.

This week, Shimao Property and Greentown China raised money through share placements while China Properties Group and Road King Infrastructure are issuing bonds to global investors.

New World China is the most recent developer to issue convertible bonds.

Last month SPG Land raised US$150 million, while China Overseas Holdings raised US$500 million from selling bonds convertible into shares of its Hong Kong-listed unit, China Overseas Land & Investment. Issuers in the territory raised US$932 million with 12 convertible bond sales in the first quarter of this year, compared with only five issues in the same period last year that raised US$282 million, according to data from Dealogic.

New World China's gearing ratio was 20.4 per cent by the end of last year.

The company's borrowings from banks and subsidiaries totalled HK$8.2 billion by the end of last year, 64 per cent of which is repayable within two to five years.