December 16, 2014 / 5:50 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-China's Dalian Wanda set to raise $3.7 bln, price IPO near top of range-sources

* IPO set to be priced at HK$48/share - sources

* Dalian Wanda to debut on HK stock exchange on Dec 23

* Strongest year for Asia ex-Japan listings since 2010 (Adds comparison to HK IPOs, details of Asia Pacific listings)

HONG KONG, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Chinese real estate developer Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co Ltd is set to raise about $3.7 billion in Hong Kong’s biggest initial public offering since 2010, capping a banner year for Asia listings buoyed by surges in Australia and mainland China.

Underwriters to the Dalian Wanda IPO have recommended the company to price the 600 million new shares at HK$48 apiece, people with direct knowledge of the plans said on Tuesday. Dalian Wanda has still to make a final decision on the sale, designed to raise funds to develop new projects across China.

That price would put the total value of the offer at HK$28.8 billion ($3.71 billion). The shares were marketed in an indicative range of HK$41.80 to HK$49.60 each ahead of a stock exchange debut slated for Dec 23.

A raft of listings in Australia as private equity houses exited investments, combined with the resumption of China listings and good growth in Hong Kong, mean Asia excluding Japan is closing out a strong year. Companies have raised $61.6 billion in IPOs so far in 2014 in exchanges in the region, according to Thomson Reuters data.

That equals a 29 percent surge from the same period last year, making 2014 the best for the region’s equity capital markets since 2010’s record $165 billion of IPOs.

The Dalian Wanda listing would be the largest in Hong Kong since AIA Group Ltd’s $20.5 billion IPO in October 2010. It follows a $3.2 billion Hong Kong offering earlier this month by China’s largest nuclear power producer CGN Power Co Ltd , and the $4.9 billion Australian IPO from state-owned health insurer Medibank Private Ltd in November.

Dalian Wanda declined to comment on the IPO pricing.

Boosted by the strength of equity capital markets in Asia this year, it had earlier sought to raise as much as $6 billion. But analysts said the company cut the IPO after some buyers were put off by the 179.7 billion yuan ($29 billion) in bond and loan debt it had amassed during a decade-long expansion drive.

$1 = 7.7526 Hong Kong dollars $1 = 6.1945 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Fiona Lau of IFR and Elzio Barreto; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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