Hong Kong may raise more than HK$300 billion this year through initial public offerings, but Shanghai and Shenzhen will do better, according to estimates by PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC forecasts there will be 60 listings this year in Hong Kong - 55 on the main board and five on the Growth Enterprise Market. Raising HK$300 billion would represent a 23 per cent increase from last year. Flotations in Hong Kong last year raised HK$243.7 billion from 73 listings, far exceeding PwC's predictions at the beginning of the year of HK$100 billion. In contrast, the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses raised 185.6 billion yuan (HK$210.9 billion) combined. The listing market in Hong Kong would continue to be boosted by cheap capital around the world and a lack of investment channels for overseas investors, said PwC. China's growth potential would encourage investors to take equity in companies with Chinese operations, it said. Edmund Chan, a partner at PwC, predicts the international board of the Shanghai exchange will launch in the second half of the year and expects the amount of capital raised to reach 250 billion yuan this year. He said the Shenzhen exchange could raise up to 70 billion yuan, bringing the total amount of capital raised through flotations on the mainland to 320 billion yuan. Chan said Hong Kong and Shanghai served different purposes, so it would be difficult to try to compare the two. 'Hong Kong caters more to international investors, while Shanghai is geared towards mainland investors and companies trying to expand their Chinese operations,' he said. As an indication of Hong Kong's attractiveness to international companies, Chan said that excluding Hong Kong, the mainland, Cayman Islands and Bermuda, 10 jurisdictions had been approved by the exchange for listing, pointing towards its ongoing internationalisation. Listings will mainly come from the mainland property, industrial and commodity sectors. The stabilisation in commodity prices over the past 12 months made the sector especially attractive to investors betting on price increases, said Chan. He echoed remarks made by the International Monetary Fund yesterday that commodity prices would rise further this year. Chan was asked about concerns over share listings by introduction, such as the recent controversy surrounding Asian Citrus Holdings. Some lawmakers have been critical of listing by introduction, in which a stock is listed on the exchange without shares being sold first to investors. Because there are no roadshows or even widespread release of prospectuses, there are fewer channels for investors to find out information about the company. Chan said the listing method was merely one of a wide range of products that a mature stock exchange should offer. 'The increasing interest in Hong Kong from overseas companies reflects their confidence in our regulatory and legal system,' said Chan.