Machinery distributor Leeport (Holdings) is seeking a main-board listing in Hong Kong to take advantage of robust investor appetite for industrial stocks. Leeport chairman and managing director Joseph Lee said the flotation, expected next month, would raise capital to expand the company's maintenance and exhibition centres and extend its distribution network from southern to eastern China. Mr Lee said the mainland, which recorded machinery imports of $22 billion last year, would be the group's future earnings engine. The Hong Kong-based company, which was founded in 1967, trades machine tools for metal-cutting and forming, measuring instruments, and electronic equipment under Japanese and European brand names such as Okuma, Finn-Power, Mitsubishi and 3D Systems. The products are used in a wide range of manufacturing industries such as vehicles, mould-making, home appliances and infrastructure. The company has more than 4,000 clients including Fong's Industries, Lung Kee (Bermuda) Holdings, ASM Pacific and Dongfeng Honda, which supplies engines to the Guangzhou Honda car factory. Executive director Stanley Chan said Leeport saw a big jump in business in 2000, thanks to the fast-growing mainland market. Turnover was $280 million in 1999 and $440 million in 2000. Last year, turnover increased slightly to $450 million.