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Malaysian poultry producer Leong Hup rises on first day of trade

    May 15, 2019 6:12 PM  PT

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Shares of poultry producer Leong Hup International rose as much as 8.2% on the first day of trade on Thursday, marking strong appetite for Malaysia's largest initial public offering in almost two years.

The shares hit a high of 1.19 ringgit in the first few minutes of trade after the IPO was priced at 1.10 ringgit, giving Leong Hup a market capitalisation of 4.02 billion ringgit ($963.80 million).

They pared some gains to trade at 1.13 ringgit by 0126 GMT. The benchmark stock exchange was down 0.13% on Thursday.

The company's IPO was valued at 1.03 billion ringgit ($247.00 million) at the issue price of 1.10 ringgit. If the overallotment option is fully exercised, it would raise a total of 1.2 billion ringgit.

Leong Hup had initially targeted to raise $600 million from the IPO but cut the offer size last month as investor demand softened in a choppy market. The IPO is Malaysia's first since Lotte Chemical Titan's issue in July 2017.

Leong Hup is majority-owned by the founding Lau family and also backed by private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners, both of whom will remain shareholders post-listing.

It is one of the largest fully integrated producers of poultry, eggs and livestock feed in Southeast Asia, and also operates in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

The IPO secured 10 cornerstone investors, including domestic pension fund Employees Provident Fund, insurer AIA Bhd and European commodities house Louis Dreyfus Company.

(Reporting by Liz Lee; Writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Shreejay Sinha)