UPDATE 1-China First Tractor to launch $180 mln Shanghai offer this week
* Shanghai offer to raise 1.15 bln yuan ($180 mln
* Proceeds will be used for new projects and technical upgrading
* To issue up to 150 mln A shares
* Citic Securities will A-share offer's lead underwriter (Adds details, background)
SHANGHAI, July 16 (Reuters) - First Tractor Co Ltd , China's biggest agricultural machinery producer, will launch a Shanghai A-share offer this week to raise 1.15 billion yuan ($180 million) for new projects and technical upgrading.
The company, already listed in Hong Kong, will conduct book-building for one week starting on Tuesday and will fix an issue price on July 25, it said in a prospectus published on the Shanghai Stock Exchange's website, www.sse.com.cn, on Monday. First Tractor aims to issue up to 150 million shares.
The offering comes at a time when China's stock market is performing poorly, weighed down by worries over a slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy.
"Along with new projects in the future, our firm's capacity and market share will be expanded," First Tractor said in the prospectus.
First Tractor recorded a net profit of 457.5 million yuan last year, down from 562.0 million yuan in 2010, while total operational income rose to 11.3 billion yuan from 10.3 billion yuan, the prospectus said.
Top Chinese brokerage, Citic Securities, was appointed the lead underwriter for the Shanghai offering.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index repeatedly hit six-month lows early last week before rebounding slightly towards the weekend.
Last Friday, China posted data that showed its gross domestic product grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, its slowest pace in three years. ($1 = 6.38 Chinese yuan) ($1 = 7.76 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Lu Jianxin and Pete Sweeeney; Editing by Ryan Woo)