China Zhongwang Holdings' HK$12.32 billion initial public share offering has drawn a distinctly lukewarm response from swine flu wary retail investors but has been welcomed with open arms by institutional investors. The public offering was only 70 per cent covered while the institutional tranche attracted more than three times the shares available, market sources said. Institutional investors had committed more than HK$30 billion for shares of the mainland's largest extruded aluminium product maker, while Hong Kong public investors pledged about HK$900 million for the public offering, sources said. Liaoning-based Zhongwang is selling 1.4 billion new shares at HK$6.80 to HK$8.80 each. Of the share offering, 10 per cent is for local investors, with the remaining for the international offering. The weak response to the local tranche will trigger a clawback mechanism allocating orders from the institutional tranche to make up for the shortfall from the retail offering. 'The deal is likely to be priced towards the low end given most bulk orders are 'limited orders',' said a source close to the offering. The bottom of the price range represents about 10 times forecast earnings for this year. Citic Securities, JP Morgan and UBS are the joint global co-ordinators of the offering. Investors place a limited order when they stipulate they will only buy a set number of shares for a specific price range. Should the deal be priced outside that range, the investor will not buy. 'Swine flu has affected the momentum and has a more negative influence on retail investors,' said another source. 'If you're an institutional long-term buyer, you're not going to worry about the impact, but Mr Wong on the street sees Sars again and won't put his money in.' Zhongwang's offering is set to be the largest public share sale globally in four years. Trading of its shares is scheduled to start on May 8.