Engineering firm and developer join Hong Kong listing rush

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 December, 2012, 4:15am

A private engineering company and a small property developer plan to raise up to a combined US$350 million in initial public offerings in Hong Kong as early as next week, according to people familiar with the situation.

In a bid to join the listing rush before the Christmas holiday, Wison Group, a Shanghai-based engineering company specialising in petrochemical and oil refineries, plans to raise about US$200 million, following revived demand for new shares after a solid first-day performance by the People's Insurance Co (Group) of China.

The country's largest non-life insurer gained 6.9 per cent on its debut yesterday.

"Wison is going to kick off the Hong Kong roadshow and take orders from investors next Tuesday. The new shares are expected to begin trading before the Christmas holiday," said two people familiar with the deal.

They added that the schedule of the listing remained tentative.

Wison's move came after AAG Energy, a Beijing-based extractor of coal bed methane, scrapped its US$200 flotation plan on Wednesday after finishing a week-long marketing campaign.

According to three fund managers, natural resources companies are losing favour because their valuations are subject to commodity market volatilities and exploration costs are relatively high and unstable.

"The commodities boom in the previous several years has entered a slowdown phase, where demand for raw materials and energy is cooling amid lingering global macroeconomic weakness," one fund manager said.

Besides Wison, Golden Wheel, a Nanjing-based real estate developer, aims to raise up to US$150 million in an initial share sale.

Although no schedule was given, the company, founded by an Indonesian Chinese, is likely to hit the road for marketing late next week, according to market sources.

"Unlike most small credit-strapped developers, Golden Wheel enjoys a low gearing ratio of just 15 per cent and plans to raise capital to finance its investment property and residential projects on top of subway stations in Nanjing," said two people familiar with the situation.

They declined to be named because the deal is private.

Golden Wheel could launch a roadshow next Friday and announce the pricing of its shares on December 19.