Zhongsheng Group Holdings, a Dalian-based car dealer, has halved the size of its Hong Kong initial public offering to US$500 million. The company, which has been in business since 1994, sells brands such as Lexus, Audi, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and General Motors. It was hoping to raise up to US$1 billion and had planned to begin its investor roadshow last week. It will now sell fewer shares because of the poor market condition, according to people familiar with the deal. General Atlantic Partners, a US private equity fund which owns 15 per cent of Zhongsheng, will increase its stake before the listing. The roadshow will start today and the company aims to sell its shares by the end of the month. Zhongsheng's franchise is rated as 4S, which means the business covers car sales, spare parts, after-sales service and after-sales customer surveys. Customers prefer to buy from 4S dealerships because of their better after-sales service. For ambitious dealers, a 4S franchise will help secure business with big carmakers, such as Shanghai's SAIC Motor Corp and Jilin's First Auto Works Group, the joint-venture partners of Volkswagen, GM and Toyota Motor Corp. BOC International, Morgan Stanley and UBS are the bookrunners of the offering. Market conditions have not been favourable for new listings since the beginning of this year. Palm oil producer Wilmar International withdrew its Hong Kong listing and Fujian-based polymer materials producer Sijia Group has postponed its flotation. But a few companies, such as Hong Kong-based paper-recycling company Fook Woo Paper, are reviving their listing plans. The company, founded in 1968, processes about 36 million tonnes of waste paper every year, according to figures provided by the Trade Development Council. Fook Woo's investor roadshow is due to start on Monday with a target offering size of US$150 million. Meanwhile, Shanxi-based West China Cement is seeking to list in Hong Kong in the first half of this year and has applied to be delisted from the Alternative Investment Market in London. According to its filing with the London exchange, the management wants to list in Hong Kong because the city has an investor base with a 'closer understanding of China'. The company's revenue increased 75 per cent to 1.52 billion yuan (HK$1.73 billion) last year from 866 million yuan in 2008. Operating profit soared 118 per cent to 616 million yuan from 283 million yuan. The company has been listed in London for three years and has a market capitalisation of more than GBP426 million (HK$4.95 billion).