Manufacturing News

Shipbuilder up on Taipei debut

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd jumped by the daily maximum after becoming the first mainland-owned company to list in Taiwan, underscoring investor demand as the two economies seek closer ties.

The shipbuilder's Taiwan Depositary Receipts (TDR) rose 6.9 percent to close at NT$20.10 (68 US cents) from the initial public offering price of NT$18.80, which was the top of a range marketed to investors.

The benchmark Taiex Index declined by 0.4 percent.

Nicholas Yeo, who helps to manage $50 billion in Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan at Aberdeen Asset Management, said that Yangzijiang "benefits from the novelty" of being the first mainland company to sell TDRs.

The listing paves the way for more mainland companies to trade on the island's exchange and is a boost for Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou's two-year drive to build links with the mainland.

Tensions have eased since Ma took office in May 2008 and dropped the pro-independence stance of his predecessor, with the two sides signing a trade agreement on June 29.

The mainland's fourth-biggest shipbuilder sold 240 million TDRs, the company said in a Singapore stock exchange filing on Sept 1. Each receipt represents 0.5 share of the company in Singapore, where it has a primary listing. Of the receipts, 200 million represent new shares, while the rest were sold by existing investors.

'Ripple effect'

A successful listing by Yangzijiang will have "a strong ripple effect and help attract more companies to sell TDRs in Taiwan," Schive Chi, chairman of the Taiwan Stock Exchange, said on Wednesday.

Yangzijiang is in talks to buy shipyards after an industrywide slump in orders last year damped prices, Zhang Yao, head of the company's board of directors' office, said on Aug 23, without naming any targets.

The company in June bought control of Jiangsu Changbo Shipyard Co as the end of the global recession prompted shipping lines to start buying new vessels.

The mainland has also encouraged consolidation in the shipbuilding industry to reduce excess capacity after orders slumped 55 percent last year, according to government figures.

The mainland and Taiwan signed a trade agreement on June 29 that Ma called a "vitamin" for the island as both sides agreed to reduce tariffs on exports.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange increased efforts to boost secondary listings and last year attracted Tingyi (Cayman Islands) Holding Corp and Want Want China Holdings Ltd, among the biggest makers of food products that operate on the mainland. Both are majority-owned by Taiwan investors.

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