* IPO priced at HK$1.45/share, bottom of indicative range
* Most proceeds set aside for new land purchases
* Second IPO in a week by property developer to price at bottom
* Shares to debut in Hong Kong Nov. 29 (Adds details of IPO, Future Land finances, Hong Kong markets)
By Elzio Barreto
HONG KONG, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Chinese property company Future Land Development Holdings Ltd has raised about $265 million in a Hong Kong initial public offering, pricing the deal at the bottom of its proposed range in the latest sign of the tough fund-raising environment in the city.
Future Land, which focuses on projects in the Yangtze River Delta, China’s most populous area which includes cities such as Shanghai, priced the IPO at HK$1.45 per share, according to a term sheet of the deal seen by Reuters. The stock will start trading on Nov. 29.
The company became the second real estate developer to price an IPO in Hong Kong at the bottom of its proposed range in the past week, following CIFI Holdings Group Co Ltd’s $215 million offering on Nov. 16. CIFI traded down 1.5 percent from the IPO price in mid-morning on Friday in its trading debut.
The tepid response to the two listings contrasts with the 32 percent gain in the Hang Seng Property Index so far in 2012.
Despite the tough fund-raising climate, the companies proceeded with their offerings as they need cash to grow their businesses. They might also have faced an uncertain global economic environment if they had waited until next year.
Future Land offered 1.42 billion new shares, putting the total deal at HK$2.06 billion ($265 million). It had marketed the IPO at an indicative range of HK$1.45 to HK$1.79 per share.
The company plans to use 90 percent of the proceeds from the IPO to buy new land where it already operates and to expand into other cities, with the remaining 10 percent set aside for working capital.
Future Land’s property portfolio includes 28 projects already completed and 46 that are under development, most of them in Changzhou, a city 160 km (99 miles) northwest of Shanghai.
Founded in 1996, Future Land is controlled by Wang Zhenhua, who is also the company’s chairman and chief executive, with a 72 percent stake.
Future Land had $80 million in commitments from three cornerstone investors in the IPO, with $39 million from Axius International Investment, a unit of Hainan Airlines parent HNA Group. Asset managers Guangdong Finance Investment International and Greenwoods Asset Management pledged $26 million and $15 million, respectively.
The company posted 1.4 billion yuan ($225 million) in profit in 2011, on revenue of 10.8 billion yuan, compared with 1.05 billion in profit and 7.6 billion yuan in revenue a year earlier. Profit in the six months to June 2012 reached 352.6 million yuan on revenue of 3.7 billion yuan.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch was hired as sole global coordinator for the IPO, with China International Capital Corp (CICC) and Haitong International acting as joint bookrunners. ($1 = 7.7508 Hong Kong dollars) ($1 = 6.2289 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Chris Gallagher)