HONG KONG: Three mainland property developers are expected to raise as much as HK$16 billion (US$2 billion) in initial public offerings (IPO) in the coming months, despite problems within the market.
Shimao Property Holdings, a Shanghai-based luxury property developer, will market its HK$5.1 billion (US$61000 million) deal from Wednesday. Its trading debut is scheduled for July 4.
Hangzhou-based Greentown China Holdings, a medium to high-end property firm, also wants to promote its US$1000 million IPO in Hong Kong next week. Its listing is expected to come in July.
And Shui On Land, a Shanghai-based property arm of Hong Kong's Shui On Group, may re-launch its US$1 billion IPO sometime in the near future.
It yesterday decided to temporarily shelve its IPO due to a bearish stock market in Hong Kong.
The flurry of fund-raising activities seems to go against the central government's attempts to cool down the mainland property market, which has seen skyrocketing prices that are rising much quicker than incomes.
The recent cooling-down measures will not sour developers' desire to go public in Hong Kong, according to Patrick Yiu, associate director of CASH Asset Management.
"It's because they need money to pay for land purchases."
Based on past experiences, developers may slow down construction during such cooling-down periods, but often speed up the expansion of their land reserves.
Another property analyst said many big mainland developers intended to move into second-tier cities, which have been little affected by the latest government measures, for the next phase of development.
Listing would provide them with a source of capital to fund these moves.
Therefore, there will be more mainland developers seeking to list in Hong Kong this year, he said.
However, the three IPO candidates from the affluent Yangtze River Delta region face a gloomy stock market in Hong Kong, which dipped to a five-month low on Tuesday.
That has forced them to price their IPOs at a discount in a bid to lure investors, who have become reluctant to invest in new shares.
Shimao, for example, has set a range of between HK$6.25 (1000 US cents) and HK$8.5 (US$1.1) per share, valuing the firm at 15 per cent to 38 per cent below its estimated net asset value of 1000.5 billion yuan (US$3.8 billion).