* Longfor Properties prices near top of IPO range - sources
* George Soros, CIC, GIC among investors - source
* Timetable set for Resourcehouse's $3 bln HK IPO - source
* Minsheng's retail portion opens tomorrow
* LVS press briefing on Sunday; Wilmar shelves HK IPO plan
(Adds brokerage quotes and details of raisings)
By Michael Flaherty and Kennix Chim
HONG KONG, Nov 12 Strong demand for a piece of
a China property company and a brokerage show that selected
IPOs are still being coveted despite investor fatigue with the
surge of new listings.
Chinese property developer Longfor Properties Co raised
$912 million on Thursday, pricing its Hong Kong initial public
offering at the top end of an indicated range, according to two
sources close to the deal.
Billionaire investor George Soros bought HK$200 million
($25.8 million) worth of shares, while the $293 billion
sovereign fund China Investment Corp (CIC) also invested
through the international tranche, another source said.
"Underwriters try to use tycoons or well-known cornerstone
investors to appeal to the market and draw investors to the
Chinese real estate offerings," said Steven Leung, director of
institutional sales at UOB-Kay Hian.
Hong Kong stocks .HSI rose to 15 months highs on
Wednesday, which, Leung said, makes investors shift to IPOs as
their valuations are lower than listed companies.
Asia has emerged as the world's top spot for companies
tapping markets for funds this year as the region's economies
inch out of recession, though the abundant supply is also
keeping high price expectations in check. [ID:nSP284830]
Longfor sold 1 billion shares, or 20 percent of its
enlarged share capital, at HK$7.07 each, compared with an
indicative range of HK$6.06 to HK$7.10, according to the
The pricing near the top end of the range indicates that
there is still demand for Chinese property IPOs despite a glut
of offerings in the last few months.
Separately, China Merchants Securities Co, which plans to
raise up to 11.1 billion yuan through an initial public share
offer in Shanghai, said on Thursday its IPO has been nearly 94
The medium-sized brokerage said in an exchange filing it
plans to sell 358.55 million shares at 31 yuan apiece, the top
end of an indicated price range, in China's third brokerage
For a FACTBOX on Asia's top 10 IPOs, click [ID:nSP491372]
For a Graphic on IPOs click:
Longfor's offering price range represented a multiple of
about 12 to 14 times forecast 2010 earnings. By comparison,
peer R&F (2777.HK) trades at 11 times 2010 forecast earnings
and Greentown China (3900.HK) trades at 9.9 times forecast 2010
The deal has attracted about $10 billion worth of orders,
or about 12 times the number of shares earmarked for
institutional investors, in which more than half are long-term
funds and hedge funds, another source close to the deal said.
The company also generated orders for 56 times the shares
initially on offer for Hong Kong retail investors. It will
trigger the clawback option to increase the retail portion of
the global offering to 40 percent from an initial 10 percent.
Longfor has signed up five cornerstone investors, including
Government of Singapore Investment Corp [GIC.UL], Temasek
Holdings [TEM.UL], Hong Kong Land, China's Ping An Insurance
(2318.HK) and Bank of China Group Investment Ltd, for a
combined $197.5 million worth of shares.
Longfor's trading debut is scheduled for Nov. 19, under the
symbol "960" (0960.HK).
Citigroup (C.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and UBS UBSN.VX
are handling the Longfor deal.
Longfor is only one of several IPOs hitting the Hong Kong
market in the next few weeks, as offerings ranging from $300
million to $3 billion queue up for debuts before the year end.
Another Chinese property developer Fantasia, which plans to
raise up to $414 million from a Hong Kong IPO, saw its
international portion five times oversubscribed, another source
close to the deal said. Its Hong Kong retail offering portion
was launched on Thursday.
Zeng Jie, the founder and executive director of Fantasia,
is the niece of Zeng Qinghong, the former Vice President of
Resourcehouse, the commodity group run by Australian Clive
Palmer, has set a timetable for its estimated $3 billion Hong
Kong IPO, sources said on Thursday.
The company plans to start its trading on Dec. 11, sources
China Minsheng Banking Corp, which plans to raise as much
as $4.07 billion in a Hong Kong IPO, will open up the offering
to retail investors on Friday, sources say.
And Las Vegas Sands, the Las Vegas casino company spinning
off its Macau business, will hold a press conference for the
IPO on Sunday.
The company hopes to raise up to $3.35 billion through the
Hong Kong listing, an offering that sources say is already
fully covered by institutional investors.
Unlike other IPOs, Las Vegas Sands will not have any
cornerstone investors taking a significant stake in the company
before the listing, sources say.
But not everyone is joining the IPO bandwagon. Singapore's
Wilmar International (WLIL.SI), the world's largest listed palm
oil company, said on Thursday it will not go ahead with its
plan to list its China operation in Hong Kong unless the market
Earlier this year Wilmar said it plans to list its China
operation in an IPO in Hong Kong, which was expected to raise
around $3.5 billion.
(Editing by Chris Lewis and Muralikumar Anantharaman)