Dec 9, 2011
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Hong Kong jeweller IPO raises less than expected

Dec 9, 2011

HONG KONG - Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co. has raised a lower-than-expected $2.0 billion from its share sale after pricing them at the bottom of its expected range, a report said Friday.

Chow Tai Fook
Photo: AFP/Getty Images

The world's biggest jewellery chain with more than 1,300 outlets throughout Asia had reportedly said it was aiming to raise $2.8 billion from its initial public offering, one of the biggest of the year in Hong Kong.

The company sold 1.05 billion shares at HK$15 ($1.93) each, at the lower end of the HK$15-21 indicative price range, and did not exercise its over-allotment option, Dow Jones Newswires quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The offer price values the firm, founded by the 80-year-old Hong Kong tycoon Cheng Yu-tung, at $19.3 billion, the report added. It is scheduled to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange on December 15.

Chow Tai Fook officials could not be immediately reached by AFP.

The company -- a household name in China but virtually unknown in the West -- is hoping investors will snap up the offering to capitalise on the demand for luxury goods and the growth in personal wealth in China.

Chow Tai Fook has a large network of stores in China plus outlets in Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It also has diamond cutting facilities in South Africa and China, and manufacturing plants in China and Hong Kong.

It plans to expand its number of stores to more than 2,000 by the end of 2016, according to its website.

Chow Tai Fook is among the list of giants using Hong Kong as a gateway to tap the Chinese market, following the listing of firms such as Italian luxury fashion house Prada, US handbag maker Coach and luggage maker Samsonite

Other branded companies looking at Hong Kong listing options include Aston Martin, Burberry, Ducati and Graff Diamonds.

China's deep capital pool helped Hong Kong claim the title of the world's biggest IPO market for the second year in a row in 2010.

But the value of new listings slumped 43 percent in the first 10 months of 2011, according to exchange figures.

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