China Molybdenum Co. (HKG:3993), the country’s largest producer of the element by output, plans to launch an initial public offering in Shanghai, which may raise around 3.65 billion yuan (US$579 million), to fund its new alloy project and boost output, according to a statement to the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
If China Moly succeed, it will become the second molybdenum maker to tap the market for the financing of projects to meet the country’s rising demand for key minor metals. The first one was Jinduicheng Molybdenum, which raised US$2 billion when it went public in 2008.
The company said it plans to offer 542 million new shares, or 10% of its enlarged share capital, adding that Essence Securities Co. and BOC International (China) Ltd. will underwrite the deal.
Last year, Moly’s Hong Kong-listed stocks tumbled 55%, but have increased their value 14% so far this year, closing at HK$3.78 yesterday. The share is currently trading at 14 times its 2012 forecast earnings.
A source, who declined to be identified, told Wall Street Journal there has been a large expansion in molybdenum capacity in the Chinese market in the past few months. The insider, a manager at a Shanghai-based molybdenum trading company, added that the stainless steel and construction steel markets are driving that growth.
Special steel products, including stainless steel products, account for 9% of China’s total current steel production, which is almost half of the 16% average in industrialized countries.
According to Wall Street Journal, analysts expect the usage of molybdenum to increase as more stainless steel is consumed in the coming years says .
China is the world’s biggest molybdenum producer, but also the main consumer.