One of Hong Kong's biggest listings of the year will be launched today as Kerry Properties opens its $3 billion offering for public subscription. With a market capitalisation of between $19.5 billion to $21.5 billion, the property arm of the Kuok Group will become one of the biggest listed property companies in the territory after its debut. The international roadshow started 11 days ago and the issue's pricing, pitched between $19.50 and $21.50 per share, is expected to be fixed on Friday. Mark Hantho, executive director of Morgan Stanley, one of the issue's sponsors, expected the offer to receive a favourable response from investors despite the recent correction in the stock market. The issue, also sponsored by Schroders Asia and J.P. Morgan Securities Asia, comprises 150 million shares or 15 per cent of Kerry Properties' enlarged share capital and will raise between $2.9 billion and $3.2 billion. A total of 127.5 million shares will be placed with professional and institutional investors, and 22.5 million shares will go for public offering. Kerry Properties will set aside between $1.28 billion and $1.58 billion of the money to be raised from its issue to fund existing property and infrastructure projects in Hong Kong and China and for general working capital. About $1.5 billion will be used to repay debts to existing and former shareholders of the group. Kerry Properties executive director Paul Bush said more than $8 billion in shareholders' loans had been capitalised already and the Kuok Group would hold an interest of about 75 per cent in the company after listing. The company's gearing ratio would be less than 11 per cent after the flotation, he said. Unveiling details of the listing yesterday, Kerry Properties joint managing director Ang Keng Lam said 80 per cent of the company's assets were in Hong Kong, with the remainder in China. He said it was confident about the luxury residential property market and expected to see both capital appreciation and rental growth in coming years. While its commercial properties were mainly in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, the group had more than 3.5 million square feet of completed godowns and three new projects would increase the godown portfolio to more than 6.1 million sq ft, Mr Ang said. In China, it had seven property projects under development and five projects planned for the future, he said. Besides property, the group has interests in four infrastructure projects including the Western Harbour Crossing and Asia Airfreight Terminal in Hong Kong, the Shenzhen Kaifeng Terminal No 9, and the Shanghai section of Hu-Ning Expressway in China. The issue will carry a price-earnings multiple of 17.6 to 19.4 times on weighted average. Subject to subscription response, the number of shares allocated to the public offer will be increased up to 37.5 million. A further 22.5 million shares could be issued to cover over-allotment in the offer. The public offer will close on Friday. Trading in the shares is expected to start on August 5.