Proceeds from initial public offerings (IPOs) this year are expected to be three times as much as last year. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) said 80 IPOs were expected to raise up to HK$150 billion this year compared with HK$50 billion last year. In the first half of the year, an estimated HK$83 billion was raised from 38 listings - 16 on the main board and 22 on the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM). 'We have had a very good start in 2000,' said Ernest Ip, a partner at PWC. About HK$120 billion is expected to be raised on the main board from 30 listings and HK$30 billion from 50 listings on GEM. Of the HK$83 billion raised in the first half, HK$66 billion came from this week's flotation of mainland telecommunications operator China Unicom and oil producer PetroChina in April. The Mass Transit Railway Corp's expected listing later in the year would be comparable to China Unicom's US$4.91 billion IPO, Mr Ip said. Investors are expected to show less interest in Internet portals in the next six months after the sharp correction in such stocks. 'The portals may find it very difficult to raise capital in the market,' Mr Ip said. Last month saw a slump in listings with only two registered on the GEM. However, a rebound led three to appear on the main board and four on the new board this month. Many companies have held back their IPOs despite receiving stock exchange approval. As of May 31, 28 approved candidates had yet to begin fund-raising activities. 'Most want to see how the market is going to react to all the big listings happening in town at the moment - they are the wait-and-see type,' Mr Ip said.