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Woongjin Energy Doubles From IPO on U.S. Solar Demand

Woongjin Energy Co. rose, helping the South Korean solar-power equipment parts maker almost double from its debut last week on expectations it will benefit from growing U.S. alternative energy demand as it boosts output.

The stock climbed 12 percent to 18,250 won as of 11:42 a.m. on the Korea Exchange, after rising 15 percent yesterday, while the benchmark Kospi stock index added 1.2 percent. Woongjin Energy, which began trading on June 30, has surged from its initial share sale’s price of 9,500 won.

Woongjin Energy plans to invest 283.7 billion won ($234 million) to expand production of ingots and wafers, the company said in a filing yesterday after the close. Hyundai Securities Co. increased its share-price forecast for Woongjin to 21,000 won from 17,000 won, saying in a report dated yesterday the company will gain from an expanding U.S. market.

“There should be increasing demand by utilities to expand renewable energy generation facilities” in the U.S., Hyundai analysts led by Han Byung Hwa wrote. “The company could benefit a lot.” SunPower Corp., the second-biggest U.S. manufacturer of solar power modules, holds 31 percent of Woongjin Energy.

The Obama administration proposed tougher air pollution rules for 31 states from Massachusetts to Texas that may lead energy companies to shut some power plants. The regulations would cut sulfur dioxide, which produces acid rain, by 71 percent by 2014 from 2005 levels, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It would reduce nitrogen oxide, the cause of smog, by 52 percent over the same period.

Shinsung Holdings Co., a South Korean solar-cell maker, also climbed 6.6 percent to 6,800 won.

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