Business

WH Group shares surge 10% on debut

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Media captionJuliana Liu reports from Hong Kong on WH Group's trading debut

Shares in Chinese pork firm WH Group have surged 10% on their debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Its shares rose to as high as HK$6.86 in early trading on Tuesday, up from the list price of HK$6.20. They closed at HK$6.66 apiece, registering a 7.4% jump on their first trading day.

The world's largest pork firm raised nearly HK$16bn ($2.1bn; £1.2bn) via a share sale to help reduce its debt.

The listing is the second attempt by the firm to sell its shares.

It cancelled its initial plan to raise up to $5bn in April this year.

The company blamed "deteriorating market conditions" and "excessive market volatility" at the time for its decision.


Analysis: Juliana Liu, BBC Hong Kong correspondent

To make its share sale a success, the WH Group cut the size of its planned listing by half, reduced the asking price by about a third, and hired far fewer bankers to manage the deal.

The strategy worked.

Investors in Hong Kong flocked to the listing, which was oversubscribed.

But because far less money was raised than originally anticipated, some stockbrokers say it is likely the WH Group will come back to investors in the future to raise more money to pay off its debt.


WH Group took on huge debt when it bought US firm Smithfield Foods last year for $4.7bn (£3.1bn) in cash.

It was the largest takeover of a US company by a Chinese firm. The acquisition helped it become the world's biggest pork company.

WH Group was previously known as Shuanghui International Holdings. It changed its name earlier this year.

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