CHINA Merchants Energy Shipping Co., the country’s biggest oil carrier, has set its initial public offering (IPO) price at the high end of a range, meaning it will raise 4.452 billion yuan (US$566 million) to become the fifth-largest domestic IPO in China this year.
The Shanghai-based firm, part of ports-to-roads conglomerate China Merchants Group, set its IPO price at 3.71 yuan, compared with a range of 3.30 to 3.71 yuan, for its 1.2 billion A-share issue, to be listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Dec. 1, the company said Thursday.
The price represented 9.52 times its 2005 earnings per share on a fully diluted basis, it said in a statement.
That price/earnings ratio will be lower than most domestic IPOs. Earlier this year, Air China listed at 18.7 times and Daqin Railway at 18.3 times.
The company, which has China’s biggest oil tanker fleet comprising 14 tankers with a combined capacity of 2.56 million tons, said it needed 5.068 billion yuan to buy new ships and a further 651 million yuan to build liquefied natural gas carriers.
Energy Shipping is currently 83.13 percent owned by China Merchants Group’s shipping unit. Its second-biggest shareholder, with 16 percent, is Sinopec Group, the parent of Sinopec Corp., Asia’s biggest oil refiner.