Soros-backed car dealer ZhengTong raises $470 million in IPO

HONG KONG (BestGrowthStock) – China ZhengTong Auto Services Holdings Ltd has priced its Hong Kong initial public offering at HK$7.30 each, below the middle of an indicative range, to raise $470 million, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

The offer generated demand from high profile investors, with a fund managed by billionaire investor George Soros taking a $50 million stake, the source added.

China ZhengTong, which had set an indicative range of HK$6.80-8.60 per share, is offering 500 million shares. At the offer price, ZhengTong will trade at 17 times price to earnings. ZhengTong runs car dealerships in China.

JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: ) is the sole global coordinator.

Companies have raised a record $48.6 billion in HK listings this year, an 80 percent jump from last year, according to Thomson Reuters data. That makes Hong Kong the world’s biggest IPO market for a second straight year.

Asia has dominated the global IPO volume this year, with Hong Kong and Shenzhen taking the top two slots. The New York Stock Exchange slipped to third slot this year, after ending 2009 in second position.

ZhengTong’s successful pricing comes as several issuers rush to raise funds before the market shuts for year-end holidays. Recent market jitters have turned investors cautious, forcing some deals to the delayed while some others to be re-priced.

Two $1 billion floats are scheduled to be priced in Hong Kong next week, which will test investor appetite as a record year for IPOs draws to a close.

China Datang Corp Renewable Power, which cut the size of its IPO by a third last week due to turbulent markets, is set to price the offer on Friday, while Huaneng Renewables Corp is expected to price its IPO on Wednesday.

The offers could together raise up to $2.3 billion. The two renewable energy IPOs are among the last major floats to hit the HK stock exchange this year.

(Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Soros-backed car dealer ZhengTong raises $470 million in IPO