Latest IPO victim Maoye shelves debut

HONG KONG/TOKYO Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:08am EST

HONG KONG/TOKYO (Reuters) - Chinese department store operator Maoye International Holdings Ltd postponed its US$905 million Hong Kong IPO due to poor market conditions, becoming the latest listing hopeful to pull its deal amid poor risk appetite.

This week alone, more than $2.2 billion worth of initial public offerings planned for Asia have been delayed or cancelled as a result of turbulent global markets.

On Thursday, Japanese real estate firm Mid Urban Development cancelled its 19 billion yen (US$176.4 million) IPO planned for February 14, becoming the first Tokyo Stock Exchange-approved IPO to be pulled this year.

"The market has gone cold and we didn't think we would be able to get a proper valuation," said Mikio Yamamoto, a spokesman for Mid Urban, which is owned by U.S. investment firm Aetos Capital.

Mid Urban's deal was to be managed by Nomura Securities, a unit of Nomura Holdings (8604.T).

Maoye had planned to price its IPO on Friday, selling 1.25 billion shares, or 25 percent of its enlarged share capital, at a range of HK$4.35-HK$5.65 each in a deal handled by Goldman Sachs (GS.N).

Instead, the firm opted to delay the deal, a source familiar with the offering said, even though Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index .HSI has gained nearly 16 percent from Tuesday's intraday low.

Another Hong Kong hopeful, SFK Construction, was due to price its IPO worth up to US$155 million on Thursday but had not done so by Friday afternoon, sources familiar with the deal said.

"The Hong Kong market has plunged 10 percent this year, so many good fundamental stocks look attractive and investors have choices. They don't need to buy IPOs and lock up their money for days," said Y.K. Chan, strategist at Phillip Capital Management, referring to the IPO application process.

Elsewhere, U.S. fashion company Tommy Hilfiger on Thursday postponed a planned IPO on the Euronext exchange due to volatile markets, while OGE Enogex Partners LP, which expected to raise up to $157.5 million, postponed a U.S. listing.

Indonesian timber producer Samko Timber, meanwhile, postponed its $113 million IPO in Singapore, a source briefed on the deal told Reuters on Friday.

Other deals are pushing forward, at least for now.

China Railway Construction has won approval from the Hong Kong exchange for an offering that, combined with a listing in Shanghai, is expected to raise up to US$4 billion, a source familiar with the deal said on Friday.

Other companies that have shelved their IPOs in Hong Kong due to volatile markets include Chinese commercial property developer Changsheng China Property Co Ltd, which was seeking US$145 million, and Chinese oil rig manufacturer Honghua Group, which planned a US$500 million Hong Kong IPO.

Maoye operates 15 stores in seven cities in China, including Shenzhen and Chengdu. It acquired a majority stake in a domestic A-share listed department store, Chengshang Group Co Ltd (600828.SS) in 2005.

(US$1=HK$7.8=107.63 yen)

(Editing by Tony Munroe)