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Qingdao Port in weak debut, concerns over metal financing probe weigh

Qingdao Port sees weak debut in Hong Kong

Shares in China's Qingdao Port International weakened in their Hong Kong trading debut on Friday amid concern that the company could be hurt by a probe into metal financing at the world's seventh busiest port.

Global trading houses and banks on Thursday were scrambling to check on their exposure to the probe, as worries grow that a crackdown into commodity financing could hit trade in the world's top metal buyer.

Trading sources have said port authorities are conducting the investigation but it is not clear which authorities are in charge.

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"Everything in Qingdao port is running normally," the operator's chairman, Zheng Minghui, told reporters at the company's listing ceremony at the Hong Kong stock exchange but declined further comment.

Qingdao Port International is the primary operator of the port, handling about 76 percent of the port's total cargo last year.

Qingdao port in Qingdao, east China's Shandong province.
STR | AFP | Getty Images

In very thin trade, the shares fell 1 percent to HK$3.72 from their IPO price of HK$3.76. The benchmark Hang Seng index opened up 0.4 percent.

The rare fixed-priced initial public offering raised $377 million, with the company selling 705.8 million new shares, while shareholder Qingdao Port (Group) offered 70.58 million existing shares. The funds will be used to expand facilities at the port.

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The retail portion of Qingdao Port International's deal generated just a fraction of the total demand for the IPO, accounting for 0.15 times the shares on offer, the company said in a securities filing on Thursday. The institutional tranche of the deal was "moderately over-subscribed".

The company received commitments worth $167.7 million from six cornerstone investors, including $50 million from Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery and $10 million from port operator DP World.

BOC International, Citic Securities International and UBS AG were joint sponsors of the IPO, with CLSA and Deutsche Bank also acting as joint bookrunners of the deal.