Cosco (Hong Kong) Group

Sino-Ocean soars 43pc on debut despite latest cooling measures

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 September, 2007, 12:00am

Shares of Sino-Ocean Land Holdings, a Beijing-based property firm, gained 42.86 per cent on their trading debut in Hong Kong, even as the central government announced a new round of measures to cool the property sector.

The price of the shares surged 46.49 per cent in early trading to HK$11.28 before closing at HK$11, in line with expectations. More than HK$8.32 billion worth of shares changed hands during the day.

Sino-Ocean, which has a strong presence in the Bohai Rim near Beijing, raised HK$11.9 billion by selling 1.55 billion shares at HK$7.70 each, the top end of the indicative price range.

Arranged by BOC International, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, the offering was 206 times oversubscribed.

Sino-Ocean's debut came as the government announced measures including increased interest rates for mortgages and requirements for higher down payments for second homes to curb property speculation.

Strong demand for mainland property firms looks set to continue. Retail offerings by Guangdong-based China Aoyuan Property Group and Soho China, which are set for listing next month, have been oversubscribed 220 times and 170 times.

Sources said Aoyuan has priced its shares at HK$5.20 each, the top end of the indicative price range.

Sino-Ocean, which specialises in medium and high-end development projects, said it would use the offer proceeds to develop its land reserves, amounting to 8.5 million square metres of gross floor space mainly in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian and Shenyang. About seven million square metres of gross floor area is for residential use and 1.5 million square metres for office and hotel use.

Sino-Ocean is a venture of Cosco International, the Hong Kong-listed property unit of shipping giant Cosco Group, and chemical conglomerate Sinochem (Hong Kong).

Seventy per cent of its turnover comes from medium to high-end residential development.