China brokerage falls on Hong Kong trading debut

Chinese brokerage Haitong Securities fell on its Hong Kong trading debut on Friday after raising $1.68 billion from a share sale, the world's largest IPO so far this year.

Shares of the firm, which is also listed in Shanghai, were trading at HK$10.58 ($1.36) by midday, down 0.19 percent from its initial public offering price of HK$10.60.

The brokerage, China's second biggest, sold 1.23 billion shares in its Hong Kong IPO after revising up the low end of its price range from HK$10.48 to HK$10.60 due to strong demand.

The IPO is expected to test investor sentiment following last year's stock market volatility and the eurozone debt crisis, which prompted several firms to cancel or postpone listings, including Haitong.

Firms planning to list in Hong Kong this year reportedly include Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical, which plans to raise $800 million, and Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal, which is seeking approval for a $1.5 billion IPO.

Hong Kong retained its crown as the world's biggest initial public offering market for the third year in a row in 2011, thanks to a slew of companies that turned to the city in a bid to tap mainland China's explosive growth.

The city raised a total of $260 billion from new listings last year but the IPO market has been quiet so far this year.

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