Datang and Huaneng float renewables divisions on HK Exchange

CHINA: The renewables divisions of two of China's biggest energy companies, Datang and Huaneng, have announced plans to raise capital on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Today, Datang New Energy announced it hoped to raise HK4.99 billion to HK6.81 billion ($748 million to $1.02 billion). It follows yesterday's move by Huaneng New Energy, which announced it planned to raise HK7.41 billion to HK9.89 billion ($1.11 billion to $1.48 billion).

According to the previously released prospectuses, Huaneng and Datang should have gone public at the beginning of the month. The volatility of Asian markets caused the two companies to postpone the schemes.

Datang New Energy will use 45% of the raised funds to develop new projects, 25% to repay bank loans, 20% to purchase equipment, and 10% for operating funds.

Huaneng will invest 53.5% of the raised funds to develop wind power projects, 14.1% to repay bank loans, and 32.4% to purchase wind power projects in China and abroad.

As of 2009, the China Wind Energy Association said Datang had a cumulative installed wind power capacity of 3.8GW, totaling 10.2% of the domestic market share. Huaneng had a cumulative installed capacity of 2.9GW, totaling 6.1% of the domestic market share.

The Datang and Huaneng offerings are a year on from when the country's biggest player, Longyuan, went public.

Longyuan eventually raised CNY17.7 billion ($2.66 billion), much higher than its original target of CNY10 billion ($1.5 billion).

Raising funds on the stock exchange appears to be in vogue with Chinese wind energy companies at the moment.

The remaining two of China's top five state-owned power groups, Huadian and China Power Investment, are also preparing to raise funds on the Hong Kong stock exchange. However, they have not released the exact timetable.

Lin Boqiang, an energy economist with Xiamen University, said "In the business map of China's top five power groups, new energy is breaking away from the previous supporting player role and becoming an important growth point of the power tycoons."

Speaking about the companies' preference for Hong Kong, Zhang Shuai, a new energy analyst from Guojin Securities, said "The companies choose to go public in there, because Hong Kong's capital market is more flexible and highly recognizes the new energy industry."

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