WHARF (Holdings) raised about $1.27 billion yesterday by placing 65 million shares to pay for the planned privatisation of hotel group Harbour Centre Development. The World International scrip in Wharf, 3.1 per cent of the existing issued share capital, was placed by Morgan Stanley International in London at $19.50 a share, 3.9 per cent below yesterday's close of $20.30. This puts the issue on a historic price-earnings multiple of 20, and 17.7 times prospective 1993 earnings. Exact details of the placement and proposed privatisation were not released pending regulatory approval. A statement from Wharf said: ''Wharf intends to utilise the net proceeds of the subscription from the placing, which will amount to approximately $1.23 billion, for the purpose of the settlement of the consideration payable to minority shareholders of Harbour Centre Development.'' The statement said this was pursuant to privatisation proposals submitted to the board of Harbour Centre, assuming that the proposals received the necessary approvals and were fulfilled. Wharf owns 56 per cent of Harbour Centre, which at $7.85 a share is capitalised at $2.47 billion. The stock was suspended from trading yesterday and is expected to resume trading on Monday. Of the remainder of Harbour Centre, 33 per cent is publicly held and Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels holds about 10.7 per cent. The privatisation could take place at $8.87, a 12.99 per cent premium to the Thursday close. If the Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels placement is excluded from the transaction the offer could be at $11.72 a share, a 49 per cent premium to the close. S.G. Warburg Securities estimates net asset value to be $8.53 a share. The average price of Wharf shares since January 1 is $17.95. The average price of Harbour Centre shares since then has been $7.38, according to Bloomberg Financial. Analysts suggest that if the privatisation bid succeeds, the placement could be expected to enhance earnings per share at Wharf. Harbour Centre was incorporated in July 1965 by Wharf and Metropolitan Investors to buy land for development next to Ocean Terminal. Hongkong Land and Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels joined the consortium in 1968 and the 790-room Hongkong Hotel on the OceanTerminal site opened the next year. With the issue of five million shares in 1971 the company became listed and in 1973 the company became a subsidiary of Wharf. The 440-room Marco-Polo hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui was opened in 1982. This was followed in 1984 by the opening of the 402-room Prince Hotel. After the management of the three hotels was taken over by another subsidiary of Wharf, the operation was merged with Omni Hotels of North America. In 1991 the 381-room Omni Houston in Texas was acquired and last year the 420-room Marriott Mandalay Hotelin Dallas was bought.