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Thu, Aug 09, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Shares in first Chinese firm listed in Tokyo soar

AFP, TOKYO

Shares in the first Chinese company to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main section got off to a flying start yesterday, boosting the bourse's hopes of attracting more foreign firms.

China Boqi Environment Solution Technology (Holding) Co (博奇環保科技) drew strong investor interest at its debut, ending the first day of trading at ¥258,000 (US$2,177), 61 percent higher than the initial offering price of ¥160,000.

The TSE has been struggling to attract foreign firms, particularly after a string of technical problems, hindering its efforts to compete with overseas rivals seeking to become Asia's pre-eminent bourse.

Only 25 foreign companies are now listed on TSE, mostly from the US and Europe, compared with a peak of 127 in 1991.

"As the Tokyo Stock Exchange is trying to boost its position as Asia's core bourse, we want to invite more Chinese companies," said TSE spokesman Toru Onoda.

China Boqi, which is officially registered in the Cayman Islands tax haven, engages in designing, building and installing environmental equipment, including desulfurization devices used at coal-fired power plants.

"Environmental protection is a big task as the Chinese economy grows. The government is set to require stricter measures. It will be a big business opportunity for China Boqi," chief executive Bai Yunfeng told reporters.

The 32-year-old executive said the group also wanted to advance into carbon emissions trading, garbage disposal in urban areas and projects to convert sea water into fresh water.

The group, which has acquired environmental technology from top Japanese companies Chiyoda and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, is the first foreign company to list its shares only on the Tokyo bourse.

China Boqi chose Tokyo because of the group's ties with Japan as well as the Tokyo bourse's long history and large scale, Bai said.

"We are also opening a channel through which we will communicate and make technical exchanges with Japanese companies that have high technology," he said, adding the group had no plan to list elsewhere at the moment.

China Boqi raised some 800 million yuan (US$105.6 million) from the share offering in Japan.

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