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Trading debut for Tianjin port


Tianjin Port Development, the operator of North China's largest seaport, saw its share price surge 26.3 per cent on its trading debut in Hong Kong yesterday.

Analysts said it was a result of investors' confidence in the rise of the mainland's Bohai Rim Region, with Tianjin as the region's economic hub.

Despite the recent slump of the benchmark Hang Seng Index, Tianjin Port ended yesterday at HK$2.375 (30 US cents), compared to its initial public offering (IPO) price of HK$1.88 (23.5 US cents). It outshone another first-timer, Champion Real Estate Investment Trust, which was down by nearly 16 per cent on the same day.

"The first day performance of Tianjin Port was in line with our expectations in view of its tremendous over-subscription," said Lai Wai-shing, head of Hantec Investment's research department.

Wang Guanghao, chairman of Tianjin Development Holdings gestures in front of the listing of Tianjin Port Development Holdings at the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday. The operator of China's fifth largest port traded sharply higher than its initial public offering in early trade.

The retail tranche of Tianjin Port's IPO, which was offered to Hong Kong's individual investors, was oversubscribed 1,703 times, making it the most popular IPO in Hong Kong in terms of oversubscription times.

Local investors spent HK$184.72 billion (US$23.68 billion) to subscribe to the IPO.Raising a total of HK$1.08 billion (US$139 million), the deal was much talked about. Local investors believe the company will benefit from the rise of the region.

The central government is now attaching greater importance to fuelling the development of North China's Bohai Sea Rim, hoping it will become the third economic engine on the mainland after the Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta.

"The prospects for Tianjin Port are pretty rosy," said Lai. "The company has a geographical advantage since it is close to Beijing," he added.

The business still has plenty of room to expand, given the economic boom in the region, he said.

Wang Guanghao, the chairman of Tianjin Port Development, said at the listing ceremony yesterday that the company would speed up efforts to increase its market share in Bohai Bay.

"We currently have a 40 to 43 per cent market share in the region and we believe that proportion will keep on growing," said Wang.

Tianjin Port currently owns two terminals, including 13 berths.

The proceeds from the IPO will be used as registered capital for buying new land, berths and railways in the Beiganchi area in Tianjin for a joint venture project formed by Tainjin Port and two terminal and transportation operators.

"The throughput capacity of our terminals amounts to 4.8 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) at present. We hope to reach 10 million in the next five years," said Wang.

From: ChinaDaily  2006-05-25 13:20

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Editor: Zhang Jialu
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