Two HK IPOs launched, Deripaska’s unit float delayed

Alison Lui and Lee Chyen Yee

HONG KONG (BestGrowthStock) – Two initial public offerings worth $2.8 billion were launched in Hong Kong on Monday, reflecting renewed confidence in the world’s hottest IPO market, even as the float of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s energy unit was delayed as it hit regulatory hurdles.

Eurosibenergo will postpone its IPO until the beginning of 2011, a source close to the matter told Reuters. The company, controlled by Deripaska, the former richest man in Russia, is awaiting the green light from cornerstone investor Yangtze Power (600900.SS: ), the source said.

Yangstze was itself waiting for an approval from Chinese regulators. EuroSibEnergo’s decision to delay its $1.5 billion offer takes the number of deals pulled since last week’s Korean tensions and Irish debt woes to three.

Despite recent hiccups, Asia and Hong Kong in particular remain hotbed for IPOs and more issuers are expected to make a last minute push to raise funds before markets close for year-end holidays in about two weeks.

“We have hit a bit of rough patch in the near term,” said Kester Ng, head of capital markets at J.P. Morgan said, referring to the ongoing tensions in Korean and the sovereign debt issues in Europe. “This has caused some jitters and as a result investors have become very selective,” he added.

“So in the immediate short term we are slightly cautious. But over the medium-to-long term we will continue to see strong issuances out of Asia,” Ng added.

Asian issuers have largely shrugged off the Korean tensions and Ireland’s debt crisis, emboldened by continued strong fund inflows into the region.

On Monday, Chongqing Rural Commercial Bank, which will trade under the listing code 3618 (3618.HK: ), set a price range of HK$4.50-6.00 per share for its Hong Kong IPO, aiming to raise up to HK$12 billion ($1.5 billion), according to a term sheet seen by Reuters.

Huaneng Renewables Corp set a price range of HK$2.98-3.98 per share to raise up to $1.3 billion, according to its term sheet seen by Reuters.

Asia has dominated the world IPO market this year, accounting for 62 percent of the $241.2 billion raised through globally, according to Thomson Reuters data. Hong Kong’s stock exchange has been an IPO hot bed, raising about $48 billion so far this year.

“This has been a record year for Asian IPOs, thanks to strong fund flow. Liquidity is plentiful and we expect this trend to continue,” Ng added.

This year was characterized by foreign companies seeking to list in Hong Kong, with several international names including Russian aluminum company RUSAL (0486.HK: ) and skin care products retailer L’Occitane (0973.HK: ) admitted to HK exchange. Last week, Brazilian miner Vale (VALE5.SA: ) (VALE.N: ) got approved to list its depository receipts.

Ng said foreign companies that are fundamentally sound, have strong growth profiles as well as having some relevant China/Asian angle will still be well received by investors, though some others may find it more challenging to list in Hong Kong, especially when the sentiment is jittery.

Chongqing Rural Commercial Bank planned to issue 2 billion shares, the term sheet said. Morgan Stanley (MS.N: ) (Read more about the money market today. ) and Nomura Holdings Inc (8604.T: ) are handling the sale.

Huaneng Renewables plans to issue 2.486 billion shares, the term sheet said. Morgan Stanley (MS.N: ) (Read more about the money market today. ) is the sole global coordinator.

(Additional reporting by Olga Popova in Moscow; Writing by Denny Thomas; Editing by Chris Lewis and Jon Loades-Carter)

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Two HK IPOs launched, Deripaska’s unit float delayed