Preparation for Ningbo Haitian Group Co. Ltd.'s initial public offering is going well, with the help of Hong Kong investment bank BNP Paribas Peregrine, according to Zheng Yongqi, marketing manager of China's largest injection press maker.
``Our first-half growth is strong enough for a competitive edge in the stock market,'' he said in an interview at the Asian-Pacific International Plastics & Rubber Industry Exhibition, held Aug. 15-18 in Beijing. ``We expect to go public by the end of the year.''
Ningbo, China-based Haitian reported sales of 1.7 billion to 1.8 billion yuan (US$213.7 million to US$226.3 million) for the first six months, up 25 percent from a year ago.
The company plans to raise about US$200 million in a November IPO in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported Aug. 30. The English-language daily in Hong Kong said UBS Securities LLC also is involved in arranging the share sale.
Haitian Executive Vice President Helmar Franz, who is also on the board of directors, maintains that the situation still is undecided, as PN previously reported in April. ``The final decision has not been taken yet, but is due soon,'' he wrote in an Aug. 29 e-mail to Plastics News.
Meantime, the Chinese injection molding machine market shows healthy growth this year, in spite of the government's effort to curb overinvestment, Zheng said.
``The injection press market is recovering from last year,'' he said.
Haitian is taking orders from foreign-invested processors that used to buy foreign-brand presses exclusively, he said.
Tightened credit and other cooling-down policies did not have visible impact on the company's sales, Zheng said. ``The trend for plastics to replace metal [and other materials] is inevitable.''
Haitian claims 65-70 percent of the automotive-related end market in China.
At Applas, which organizers touted as the second-largest plastic trade show in China, Haitian displayed four models, including high-speed and thin-wall, energy-saving, all-electric and dual-color machines.
``We are the only Chinese company that has commercialized all-electric presses,'' he said. The company to date has sold 10 of them, mostly to electronics processors in China. Zheng also said dual-color machines are gaining popularity in the packaging sector. He expects sales of the dual-color presses to reach 50 million yuan (US$6.28 million) in 2006.