* Top China funeral provider gains 66 pct in first trading
* Four other companies post sharp gains in HK debuts
By Elzio Barreto
HONG KONG, Dec 19 Shares of Fu Shou Yuan
International Group Ltd, China's largest provider of funeral
services, soared as much as 66 percent in their Hong Kong
trading debut on Thursday, leading a pack of first-day trading
gains in the city.
Shares in Fu Shou Yuan, in which private equity
firm Carlyle Group LP and hedge fund firm Farallon
Investors took a minority stake, jumped to HK$5.30 compared with
an IPO price of HK$3.33, according to Hong Kong stock exchange
Carlyle, whose co-founder William Conway visited Fu Shou
Yuan's main cemetery in Shanghai with a group of eight
executives in December 2010, agreed to buy $25 million worth of
shares, giving the company a $16.5 million paper profit on its
San Francisco-based Farallon bought another $10 million
worth of Fu Shou Yuan shares, according to the IPO prospectus.
Fu Shou Yuan's IPO was swamped by orders from small
investors with the retail portion generating demand of more than
681 times the shares on offer, a company filing showed on
Wednesday. The institutional tranche of the IPO was "very
significantly over-subscribed", the filing added.
Other companies also traded sharply higher in their debuts.
Japanese online payment provider econtext Asia Ltd.,
rose as much as 34 percent and China Conch Venture
rose 22 percent.
Kerry Logistics and Consun Pharmaceutical
were up 6.9 percent and 5.5 percent from their IPO
The strong debuts bode well for new listings in Hong Kong in
2014, when analysts and investors expect a bumper year with
large offerings to put the city back at center stage for IPOs.
Some of the top deals expected include a $5.7 billion IPO
for the electricity business of Li Ka-shing's Power Assets
Holdings Ltd, a $6 billion deal from Chinese meat
processor Shuanghui International Holdings and potential
multi-billion dollar listings from health and beauty products
retailer A.S. Watson & Co Ltd and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group