Port operator Pacific Ports Co has fixed its share price at the upper end of the range at $3.09 for today's issue of 40 million new shares. The aggressive pricing decision followed a strong response to an earlier private placement of 160 million new shares, which was understood to have been 10 times oversubscribed. The IPO aims to raise $618 million. The price puts the shares at a 15.11 per cent discount to the company's net asset value of $3.64. Company chairman John Chan Boon-ning said yesterday the firm - which is majority-owned by transport and port company Fairyoung Holdings and the Asian Infrastructure Fund - hoped its operations in Xiamen would help generate a net profit of $50 million this year. This compares with estimated losses exceeding $17 million for last year, its third consecutive year in the red. Mr Chan said: 'Xiamen berth 12 starts operation this month with a yearly throughput of 250,000 teu [20 ft equivalent units] while berth 13 will be operational in the first half of next year.' He said this year's profit forecast would be achieved with the help of Sea-Land Orient Terminals (Slot), which would manage berth 12 for an initial period of three years. 'Besides this, possible direct sea links between China and Taiwan have yet to be factored into the forecast,' Mr Chan said. He said the company recently signed a letter of intent with authorities in Wuhan to build and operate a $100 million container terminal and a general cargo terminal. Between $583 million and $673 million will be raised through the listing.