First Mobile Holdings, which aims to raise HK$114.8 million through a Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) listing, has sold shares to a handful of investors at a steep discount to the planned issue price. The mobile-telephone distributor raised HK$86.7 million by selling 154.2 million shares - or 8.814 per cent of its total shares - to 10 companies and individuals from August to November, according to the listing document. The individuals include a founder and directors of Kingsway Capital - a sponsor of the listing - William Lam Ka-chung and Richard Yin Ying-neng. Mr Lam and Mr Yin and two units of SW Kingsway Capital, in which they have directorships, bought a 4.867 per cent stake at 42.9 HK cents to 48.6 HK cents per share. That is 47 per cent and 40 per cent lower than the issue price, 82 HK cents, of the 140 million shares the company is selling to other investors through private placement. The company did not explain why it sold the shares so cheaply before its listing, but Angela Ho, executive director of Kingsway, said the purchases demonstrated the 'confidence of investors'. To smooth concerns, also raised by the stock exchange, about a potential conflict of interest, Kingsway is acting as co-sponsor with Asia Financial Capital, a Kingsway spokesman said. Kingsway, which took a 4.161 per cent stake, invested venture capital in the company while the issue price had not been fixed, and it also had to bear risk, the spokesman said. Ms Ho also said pre-listing investors might keep the shares one to two years - although they could sell them immediately or three months after listing. First Mobile distributes a variety of mobile-phone brands, including Siemens, Samsung and Phillips, in the Asia Pacific region. The company is selling its shares at a price equivalent to 9.4 times its prospective price-earnings ratio. Profit in the year to December 31 is forecast to more than double to HK$140 million from HK$51.37 million, bolstered by booming mobile phone sales. The counter is scheduled to start trading on December 29.