New World Development may end up paying $6.31 billion to underwrite a rights issue by its mainland property arm, New World China, as NWC's plunging share price is dampening shareholders' interest in the issue, analysts say. NWC shareholders have until this Friday to accept the rights offer, under which they can buy three rights shares for every two shares they hold. A total of 2.25 billion rights shares will be sold for $2.80 each. However, NWC shares had lost 9.32 per cent since the offer was unveiled, closing at $2.80 on Friday. Under the deal, NWD, which owns 1.05 billion shares, or 70.2 per cent, of NWC, will pay $4.43 billion for the offer. But it also has agreed to underwrite the offer in case of poor market response. 'If NWC's shares continue to trade at $2.80 or below, minority shareholders may not be interested in subscribing to the rights issue as they may not be able to make a profit in the short term,' said Tung Tai Securities associate director Kenny Tang Sing-hing. NWC managing director Henry Cheng Kar-shun remained upbeat on the issue's prospects. He said NWD's willingness to underwrite the offer had demonstrated its confidence in the firm and the outlook for China's property market. Nonetheless, CLSA analyst Keith Yeung said in a report last week that it might not necessarily be a good thing for NWD to underwrite NWC's rights issue. 'Given that NWD cannot use the funds in NWC's accounts, the cash commitment [would limit] the growth of the company's businesses in Hong Kong,' Mr Yeung wrote. Under NWC's plan, it will use $3.3 billion of the rights issue proceeds to repay debt and $2.5 billion to pay for resettlement costs for four million square metres of land in Wuhan, Beijing, Guangzhou and Tianjin.