GUANGDONG Corp, the first Chinese company to list on the Australian stock exchange, has closed its A$7.5 million (about HK$37.95 million) float and will begin trading today. The fully subscribed issue of 9.63 million fully paid ordinary shares officially closed a week before the due date, but directors had announced two weeks ago that no further applications were likely to be accepted because of the overwhelming demand. Richard Li, managing director of float underwriter Sino Investment Services, said the company would have about 670 shareholders. More than half - 53 per cent - would be Australian, 23 per cent from Hong Kong and the rest from the United States, Europe, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan. He said directors of Guangdong Corp were so pleased with the outcome of the issue that the board was flying to Melbourne for the start of trading. Mr Li said the issue had drawn a wide mix of institutional and private investors, with most of the Hong Kong shareholders being private. Some large orders had been cut back to ensure a fair spread, with some requests of up to A$1 million being received. The issue represents 28 per cent of the enlarged and reconstructed capital of Guangdong Corp, an offshoot of Hong Kong-listed Guangdong Investment, which owns 64 per cent. Eight per cent is held by managing director Paul Tsui. Its main asset is the 90 per cent-owned Full Arts Metal Works, which makes curtain walling and aluminium frame panelling for buildings. It plans to expand in China. The company's directors said the Australian listing was another milestone in the development of the Guangdong group. The float had been of 9.6 million shares at 78 cents each to raise A$7.5 million, the underwriter said. The subscription opened on September 8. Guangdong Investment is 44 per cent owned by Guangdong Enterprises (Holdings), which is the business, development and investment arm of the Guangdong provincial government. ''The float demonstrates that the Chinese economy is continuing to open up and the more progressive companies are moving abroad,'' said Mr Li. ''The Guangdong group is one of the largest business groups emerging out of China, with Guangdong Enterprises holding more than US$2.3 billion in assets,'' he said.