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China General Nuclear raises $3.16 bn in Hong Kong IPO

Nuclear Power Plant/AFP

Nuclear Power Plant/AFP

HONG KONG, Dec. 3-  China’s largest nuclear power producer raised US$3.16 billion in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, a report said Wednesday, with investors hoping to benefit from Beijing’s push towards cleaner energy.

China General Nuclear Power Co. (CGN) sold 8.8 billion shares at HK$2.78 (US$0.36) each, pricing its offering at the higher end after strong demand, Dow Jones reported.

The report said it was the largest IPO in Hong Kong since China Everbright Bank’s offering of US$3.2 billion a year ago.

The Shenzhen based company currently generates an estimated 9.4 gigawatts — around half of China’s nuclear energy output — according to documents filed in September.

The power provider recorded a 5 billion yuan (US$810 million) profit in 2013, a two percent rise from the previous year, according to the preliminary prospectus.

It also has a string of partnerships with international energy companies, including France’s EDF and Areva.

China has ambitious plans to expand its nuclear industry. There are currently 21 operational nuclear reactors and 27 reactors under construction in the country, according to the World Nuclear Association.

The world’s second largest economy regards nuclear as a key area for energy expansion as it desperately seeks to lower its dependence on pollution causing coal.

Beijing is also keen to export its own nuclear expertise abroad, with Chinese nuclear companies announcing partnership deals in recent months to build new reactors in Argentina and Romania.

Earlier this year China also won the right to own and operate new nuclear power stations in Britain.

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