Haitong Securities has raised HK$13 billion in Hong Kong's biggest initial public offering (IPO) since December, a market source said yesterday. The mainland brokerage firm, which is also listed in Shanghai, sold about 1.23 billion shares at HK$10.6 each, near the bottom of its indicated price range, according to the source. The shares were originally offered at HK$10.48 to HK$11.18 a share, according to the prospectus. Haitong's stock sale is about 40 per cent higher than the total amount raised in first-time offerings in Hong Kong in the first quarter, according to Bloomberg data. Haitong, based in Shanghai, is the third-biggest publicly-traded mainland brokerage with a market value of 85 billion yuan (HK$104.36 billion). The mainland's two largest brokerages are Beijing-based Citic Securities and GF Securities in Guangzhou. Haitong closed up 2.4 per cent at 10.33 yuan in Shanghai yesterday, outpacing the benchmark Shanghai composite index which increased 1.2 per cent, and 17 per cent above its offer price. ANZ Bank economist Raymond Yeung said he could not comment on individual stock offerings, but he did not believe the current market sentiment was receptive towards IPOs. 'The stock market has remained low recently and there's not enough liquidity,' he said. Haitong now has 11 cornerstone investors, who have pledged a total of US$580 million to buy H shares in Haitong. They include Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, one of the two cornerstone investors who pledged to invest in the IPO last December, when Haitong called off the listing, blaming volatile markets. Yeung said the market atmosphere had not improved much since Haitong postponed its offering last year. 'The debt crisis in Europe is not solved yet, and global liquidity is still affected,' Yeung said. Hong Kong trading in the stocks will begin on April 27.