Some brokers could reap a windfall of up to HK$13 million from their shareholdings in Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing when it lists on its own stock market next Tuesday. Shares are to be listed at a comparatively low price-earnings (P/E) ratio of 7.76, according to a listing document issued yesterday. With this ratio and an issue price of HK$3.88 a share, the counter is expected to strengthen quickly on Tuesday due to heavy buying on the secondary market by retail investors. Tuesday's listing will give retail investors their first opportunity to buy exchange shares as the listing is done by introduction, not through an initial public offering. The exchange may have given its shares some early help by stating in the listing document the average P/E ratio of overseas stock exchanges and financial institutions was 18.81. That led many brokers to predict yesterday the exchange's shares should reach that P/E level, or about HK$9.40 each, by the end of trading on Tuesday. The low P/E ratio is a result of the exchange issuing 1.04 billion shares at HK$3.88 to brokers when it was formed on March 6. Brokers had the option to receive cash or shares in the merger but most chose stocks due to the prospect of lucrative gains. The listing document said the exchange's profit at the end of last year would have been HK$521 million, or an earnings per share of 50 HK cents, assuming the merged entity had been operating then. Most brokers are expected to hold their shares tomorrow to see if the price rises further. The Australian Stock Exchange, which listed its shares on its own market in October 1998, closed on Wednesday at A$10.35, giving it a P/E ratio of 19. The issue price was A$4.20. If Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing's share price reaches HK$9.40, a stock exchange seat holder who sold all shares would reap HK$7.5 million, while each futures exchange seat holder would make HK$13 million. A share price of HK$9.40 would give the exchange capitalisation of HK$9.7 billion. The listing document also said the exchange's profit - if it had been operating - would have dropped in each of the past three years, to HK$521 million last year from HK$625 million in 1998 and HK$1.3 billion in 1997. The exchange would have had net assets at the end of last year of HK$2.66 billion and a net asset value per share of HK$3.99.