First two Chinese companies lead IPO resumption, seeking $167 mln

SHANGHAI Mon Jan 6, 2014 11:26pm EST

SHANGHAI Jan 7 (Reuters) - Two Chinese companies plan to raise a combined 1.02 billion yuan ($167.70 million) in their initial public offerings (IPOs) this week, leading off the resumption of new listings in mainland stock markets after a hiatus of more than a year.

The two companies are the first to publish fundraising targets from a list of 29 companies that have posted IPO announcements on the Shenzhen and Shanghai exchange websites, which in turn are part of a pool of more than 750 companies queued to list.

Ernst & Young estimated that new listings could raise as much as 200 billion yuan in 2014.

However, Chinese stocks have slid steadily since China's securities regulator signalled in December it would permit the resumption of IPOs after freezing new listings in November 2012, and many analysts fear the flood of new issues will put further downward pressure on major mainland stock indexes unless confidence in stocks in general is restored.

The securities regulator said in November it expects around 50 companies to list this month.

According to statements posted on the Shenzhen stock exchange website late on Monday, Guangdong Xinbao Electrical Appliances Holdings Co Ltd plans to issue 76 million shares priced at 10.5 yuan apiece, which would result in a total of approximately 798 million yuan raised. Xinbao shares will trade under the ticker number.

Zhejiang Wolwo Bio-Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, to be traded under the ticker, hopes to raise 217.21 million yuan by issuing 11 million new shares priced at 20.5 yuan per share.

Both companies will take subscriptions from retail and institutional investors on Wednesday and announce the results on Jan. 9.

The firms are pricing their shares at relatively high valuations compared to larger listed Chinese companies, at projected price-to-earnings ratios of 30.08 times for Guangdong Xinbao and 39.31 times for Zhejiang Wolwo, but this is not unusual for smaller-cap Chinese tickers, which have widely outperformed their larger peers in 2013.

For example, larger appliance maker Gree Electric Appliances is currently trading at a P/E ratio of only 7.7, according to data from Thomson Reuters Starmine.

($1 = 6.0526 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Pete Sweeney, Samuel Shen and Clement Tan; Editing by Kazunori Takada and Matt Driskill)

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