Pacific Securities, a mainland brokerage that went public through a back-door listing late last year, is seeking a capital injection of 9 billion yuan (HK$10.04 billion) through a share placement. The mainland's fourth-largest listed brokerage by market value said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday that it planned to place 450 million shares at 18.93 yuan each. The deal is aimed at boosting the Yunnan-based securities firm's financial muscle as it competes for more underwriting and brokerage business. The offering was based on 90 per cent of the company's average price in the past 20 trading days. 'The price is relatively high,' said TX Investment Consulting analyst Zhang Chunlei. 'It shows that investors are still bullish on the brokerage industry, though the industry is set to undergo a bumpy year.' The placement will involve no more than 10 institutional investors. Pacific Securities' shares closed down 60 fen or 2.79 per cent yesterday at 20.93 yuan. Between April 7 and 9, the stock surged 23 per cent, compared with a 1 per cent drop in the Shanghai Composite Index. Pacific Securities acquired Shanghai-listed Unida last year to gain a listing status. Its shares started trading on December 28 last year. It is expected to report a profit of 600 million yuan for last year, according to a forecast by TX Investment, up 355 per cent from 132 million yuan in 2006. The industry had a 287 per cent profit growth on average last year, according to Guotai Junan Securities' estimates on 47 brokerages, thanks to a stock market boom that attracted millions of unseasoned investors to open accounts and to trade. Analysts said the country's securities firms would not be able to repeat the performance this year after the benchmark index fell 33.6 per cent from last year's close. Pacific Securities will use the proceeds to expand outlets and boost its capital base to vie for more underwriting deals. The company said last year that it planned to set up an asset-management unit in Shanghai to diversify revenue sources. In April last year, Pacific Securities boosted its registered capital from 733 million yuan to 1.5 billion yuan after an asset restructuring.