Tue, Jan 11, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Air China raises more in share offering


Air China Ltd (中國國際航空), China's largest international carrier, increased the amount it raised in its initial public offering to HK$9.6 billion (US$1.2 billion) after investors ordered more stock than available in the share sale.

Air China last Friday sold an additional 421 million shares to institutional investors at HK$2.98 each, the same as their IPO price, the airline said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday. The over-allotment represents 15 percent of the 2.8 billion shares originally sold.

Institutional and retail investors ordered about 19 times the number of shares originally offered in the share sale, allowing the Beijing-based carrier to price the stock at the high end of a target range. Air China shares, which reached a high of HK$3.25 in their debut on Dec. 15, are now trading below their IPO price.

"The stock's performance has been affected by the market," said Gary Zhang, an analyst at Sun Hung Kai Securities Ltd in Hong Kong. Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index has lost 5 percent this year. "The company has good fundamentals and its performance will be better in the longer term."

Zhang doesn't have a rating on the shares.

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