* Yingli seeing substantial increase in solar demand
* Sees Q2 shipments up 70 percent from Q1
* Sets 15.5 mln share offering; funds to pay down debt
* Stock down 2.5 percent in extended trade
LOS ANGELES, June 15 Chinese solar panel maker
Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd (YGE.N) on Monday said it
has seen a substantial increase in demand since the beginning
of the year and set an offering of 15.5 million common shares
that pushed its stock down 2.5 percent in extended trade.
In a statement, Yingli forecast shipments would be up 70
percent in the second quarter from the previous period, citing
progress in government solar incentives in the United States
and China, improved weather conditions in Europe and "a visible
change of industry sentiment" since the Intersolar trade show
in Germany last month.
The solar industry has been hit hard since the end of last
year by a lack of available financing for big projects and an
oversupply of solar panels that has sent prices into a
In recent weeks, however, solar players including
U.S.-based SunPower CorpSPWRA.O and top Chinese panel maker
Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd STP.N have said they see
encouraging signs of a recovery in the solar market.
Yingli, which is based in Baoding, China, said better
market conditions combined with lower polysilicon prices gave
the company confidence it could meet its second-quarter gross
margin target of 18 percent to 20 percent.
Separately, the company also filed with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission to sell 15.5 million shares of common
stock, raising about $163.1 million.
Proceeds from the sale will be used to repay a $50 million
loan facility and other debt, the company said.
The move by Yingli follows a string of share placements by
solar companies including SunPower, Suntech, Germany's Q-Cells
SE QCEG.DE and Norway's Renewable Energy Corp (REC.OL)
Yingli shares fell to $12.84 in extended trade after
closing at $13.16 on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Andre Grenon, Bernard