Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook said Wednesday its share sale was oversubscribed, after raising a lower-than-expected $2 billion from the initial public offering amid volatile global markets.
The world's biggest jewellery chain said in a statement that the portion of shares it sold to international investors was "moderately oversubscribed", while the retail portion was about 6.62 times oversubscribed.
The response was a contrast to some Hong Kong IPOs earlier this year, such as local handbag retailer Milan Station that was 2,100 times oversubscribed and China's retail giant Sun Art Retail group which was 41 times oversubscribed.
Chow Tai Fook, which has more than 1,500 outlets in Asia, also said it had priced it shares at HK$15 ($1.93) each, at the bottom end of the HK$15-21 indicative price range, raising less than the original $2.8 billion it had hoped for.
The company, founded by 80-year-old Hong Kong tycoon Cheng Yu-tung, said it expected net proceeds from the IPO -- one of the biggest of the year in Hong Kong -- to be approximately HK$15.26 billion.
Chow Tai Fook, a household name in China but virtually unknown in the West, sees the listing as a way to capitalise on the growth in personal wealth in China, where demand for luxury goods is soaring.
The group 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 2016.
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.