Excellence delays HK IPO plans

11:12, October 29, 2009      

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Excellence Real Estate Group Ltd, the largest property developer in Shenzhen's Central Business District, has delayed a Hong Kong initial public offering that could have raised as much as $1 billion.

Excellence decided not to proceed under the original timetable "in view of the current market conditions for initial public offerings and with the investors' best interests in mind", it said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. It was scheduled to price the share sale yesterday.

Investor fatigue has formed over Hong Kong IPOs of Chinese property companies after 25 of them raised money in such sales since the beginning 2003, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This month alone, five Chinese property companies, including Excellence and Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd, hit the road to market their initial share sales.

"For property companies, there's indigestion because there are so many of them and it's hard from a distance to distinguish them," said Arnout van Rijn, chief investment officer of Robeco Hong Kong Ltd. "It becomes too much of a matter of just competing on price."

Van Rijn helps oversee 1 billion euros of Asian stocks, including Chinese real estate companies. As many fund managers already hold Chinese property stocks, they will not consider the latecomers unless they distinguish themselves by product offerings or attractive valuations, he said.

Excellence earlier offered 3 billion new shares, or a 25-percent stake, at HK$2.10 to HK$2.60 each, said an e-mailed sale document sent to fund managers. Yuzhou Properties Co, a Xiamen-based property developer, on Monday priced a HK$1.62 billion IPO at the low end of a HK$2.70 to HK$3.70 offering range, according to a pricing document.

Excellence's was one of the largest Hong Kong IPOs to be delayed this year as investors become increasingly selective about initial share sales.

Source: China Daily/Agencies
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