Energy, cement firms eye total of HK$2b in IPOs
Eric Ng and Paggie Leung
Two mainland companies unveiled plans to go public in Hong Kong, targeting a total of HK$2 billion after earlier delaying their announcements due to poor market conditions.
SPT Energy, a Beijing-based drilling and well-services provider, aims to raise up to HK$546 million by selling 335 million shares at HK$1.23 to HK$1.63 each. It is pitching its shares at 7.6 to 10 times this year's forecast earnings. Rival Anton Oilfield Services last traded at 10.2 times this year's estimated earnings.
Meanwhile, China Tianrui Group Cement aims to raise up to HK$1.45 billion by selling 400.9 million shares at HK$2.41 to HK$3.61 each. It is pitching its shares at 3.8 to 5.6 times this year's projected profit. In this year's first-half, SPT sourced 31.5 per cent of its sales from drilling services, 18.3 per cent from well preparation and 50.2 per cent from output-enhancement services.
Kazakhstan contributed 53.4 per cent of the firm's sales in the six-month period, with 30 per cent from the mainland. China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), parent of listed PetroChina - the nation's largest oil and gas producer - accounted for 65 per cent to 72 per cent of its sales in the past three years.
While having a state-backed giant such as CNPC as its mainstay customer has helped business growth in the past few years, it also brought operating risks, partly due to SPT's weak bargaining power against CNPC.
After PetroChina disclosed that it found huge new reserves in its Jidong oilfield in 2007 - billed by the oil giant as one of the largest domestic oil discoveries in decades - it planned a huge investment budget and urged SPT to prepare for the project. SPT took the risk of buying 69.4 million yuan (HK$84.8 million) of inventory without having a binding order from PetroChina.
The field's reserves turned out to be much less than expected, resulting in far fewer services required. SPT was forced to make a 58.5 million yuan write-down of the stock that could not be used elsewhere.
Li Qiang, strategy-planning director, said SPT was cutting its reliance on CNPC and had won orders in Indonesia, Kazakhstan and North America from other clients.
SPT has forecast a net profit of at least 177 million yuan for this year, up from 119 million yuan last year and 85 million yuan in 2009.
It plans to use HK$145 million of the listing proceeds to buy manufacturing equipment, some of which are to execute orders for drilling gas trapped between shale rocks and coal seams. Some HK$83 million is earmarked for acquisitions to broaden its product line, another HK$83 million to pay back bank loans and HK$62 million to carry out research and build manufacturing facilities.
China Tianrui Group Cement has forecast its net profit to be at least 1.25 billion yuan this year, up from 398 million yuan last year and 163 million yuan in 2009. It plans to use 95 per cent of net proceeds to repay loans.
Chief executive Li Heping said he was upbeat about cement prices next year, citing Beijing's policy to phase out obsolete capacity and strictly control new plant construction.