Listing hopeful Hopson Development Holdings has sold 40 per cent of its shares on offer to two mainland companies, giving the flotation much-needed support amid nervous market sentiment. Guangdong Enterprises (Holdings) had pledged to buy Hopson shares worth $200 million while Beijing-based China International Trust & Investment Corp had agreed to purchase shares worth $150 million, a source said. The two investors would take up about half the international placing, which accounted for 90 per cent of 250 million new shares on offer. Hopson planned to sell the new shares, making up 25 per cent of its enlarged issued share capital, at between $2.70 and $3.30 each. The issue price represents a fully diluted price earnings multiple of between 8.4 and 10.3 times this year's projected earnings - a 35 to 45 per cent discount to its net asset value. The company develops and invests in properties, mainly in the Tianhe district of Guangzhou. A source said the company had in the first four months alone achieved 80 per cent of last year's turnover. Hopson earlier refrained from providing a profit forecast for this year as the company found it difficult to predict what would happen in the present economic climate. However, after a request from the stock exchange, Hopson predicted a full-year net profit of about $308 million, up 158 per cent on $119.5 million last year. The public offer of the remaining 10 per cent of the new shares on offer is scheduled to run from Monday to Thursday.