Carlyle Group gains paper profits on Chinese funeral firm's gain in Hong Kong trading debut

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Dec 19, 2013 01:32 AM EST

Fu Shou Yuan International Group Ltd, the biggest provider of funeral services in China, rose up to 66% in its trading debut in Hong Kong on Thursday, December 19, Reuters reported. Citing data from the Hong Kong stock exchange, the report said shares of the graveyard developer increased HK$5.30 from its IPO price of HK$3.33 which is at the top-end of its marketed range.

Private equity firm Carlyle Group bought $25 million worth shares in the firm, giving its week-old investment a paper profit of $16.5 million, the report said.  In December 2010, Carlyle Co-Founder William Conway and eight executives visited Fu Shou Yuan's main cemetery in Shanghai. Meanwhile, San Francisco-based hedge fund firm Farallon Investors purchased shares worth $10 million.

Citing a filing, the report said the IPO of Fu Shou Yuan was swamped with orders from small investors. A demand of over 681 times the shares on offer was generated from the retail portion. The filing also said that the institutional tranche was also "very significantly over-subscribed."

According to a Bloomberg report, Fu Shou Yuan was able to sell 500 million shares and has an overallotment option to offer an additional 75 million shares. The sponsor of the company's IPO was Citigroup Inc. Information from its website said the Shanghai-based firm which was founded in 2003 operates graveyards and funeral services in eight cities in the mainland.

Meanwhile, other firms also debuted strongly in their first day of trading. Kerry Logistics Network Ltd, China Conch Venture Holdings and Consun Pharmaceutical Group also made a strong showing. VC Brokerage Director Louis Tse said the Fed tapering cleared the air. Tse told Bloomberg, "All the IPOs are up, it doesn't matter whether it's a donkey or a dog. The Fed tapering wasn't that sizeable and it cleared uncertainties, and that's being welcomed by the market."

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