* Shares rise as high as $43.50 from HK$33.00 IPO price
* Poly Culture IPO benefits from strong retail investor demand (Adds details of IPO demand, recent IPO performances)
By Elzio Barreto
HONG KONG, March 6 Shares in Poly Culture Group Corp Ltd, China's largest art auctioneer, jumped as much as 32 percent in their Hong Kong trading debut on Thursday after retail investors flocked to its IPO, encouraged by rising art prices in China.
Poly Culture, the world's third-biggest auctioneer after industry leaders Christie's and Sotheby's, saw the retail portion of its IPO generate 606 times more orders than shares on offer -- the latest in a slew of listings for niche firms that have met with robust demand from retail investors.
The institutional tranche of the IPO, which raised $331 million, was "very significantly over-subscribed," a company filing showed.
Shares in Poly Culture climbed as high as HK$43.50, up from its initial public offering price of HK$33.00, and were last at HK$40.65 in early morning trade.
The benchmark Hang Seng index traded up 0.3 percent.
Other firms to find favour with Hong Kong retail investors include funeral services operator Fu Shou Yuan International Group Ltd whose retail tranche was oversubscribed by more than 681 times in December and night club owner Magnum Entertainment Group Holdings Ltd whose retail portion was oversubscribed by a record 3,559 times.
CLSA was sole global coordinator and bookrunner of the IPO, and stands to earn an underwriting commission of $7.94 million, or 2.4 percent of the proceeds, according to Poly Culture's prospectus. (Editing by Paul Tait and Edwina Gibbs)