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Wanda Commercial makes trading debut in Hong Kong

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Chinese shopping mall developer Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties made its trading debut in Hong Kong Tuesday after raising US$3.7 billion in a record-breaking initial public offering.

[HONG KONG] Chinese shopping mall developer Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties made its trading debut in Hong Kong Tuesday after raising US$3.7 billion in a record-breaking initial public offering.

Shares in the Beijing-based company were slightly up at HK$48.2 (US$6.21)in the first hour of trading, following the biggest IPO in the world by a real estate firm.

Owned by the property arm of Dalian Wanda Group and controlled by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, the company is one of the world's largest developers of shopping malls, owning dozens across China.

"Today is a historic day for Wanda and also an important milestone for the business development of Wanda," said Mr Wang before striking the gong at the Hong Kong exchange to mark the listing.

Wang raised a glass of champagne with bourse officials and gave a double thumbs up before trading began.

The listing comes after China cut interest rates in November to spur the mainland property market, which has seen prices falling for months.

Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties says it is the second-largest commercial property owner and operator in the world, with 175 property projects across China, including 71 Wanda Plazas of shopping centres, luxury hotels, and office and residential towers, according to the bourse filing.

Mr Wang topped the Forbes China Rich List in 2013 with an estimated net worth of US$14.1 billion, but was displaced this year after charismatic Internet entrepreneur Jack Ma floated his e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group in the world's biggest ever initial public offering (IPO). Mr Ma's fortune is now estimated at nearly US$20 billion.

Mr Wang may find himself on top again after the Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties listing.

"To be on the rich list is not my goal, my goal is to have my company become diversified and comprehensive," Mr Wang told reporters on Tuesday.

"When I was the richest man I didn't feel pain nor did I feel especially happy," said Mr Wang.

The Wanda Group bought US cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings two years ago and has also branched out into film production, theme parks, print media and art investment.

Wang has said he wants the company to rival world leading brands like Google, IBM and Walmart.

A string of Chinese companies are tapping in to international investors through Hong Kong's bourse.

Its stock exchange has now climbed to the second in the world in terms of IPO fund raising activities, Dow Jones has said.

Shares in China General Nuclear Power (CGN), the nation's largest nuclear power producer, surged almost 20 per cent on their debut last week after it raised more than US$3 billion in its IPO.

AFP