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Otsuka Bid Higher in Gray Market, Louis Capital, BTIG Say

Shares of Otsuka Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest privately owned drugmaker, were bid at least 1.4 percent above their initial offering price in the so-called gray market, said brokerages in Hong Kong.

Louis Capital Markets (Hong Kong) Ltd. arranged trades of Otsuka stock at 2,150 yen on Dec. 10. Shares were bid at 2,130 yen each and offered at 2,160 yen, said Ben Collett, head of Japanese equities at the brokerage. Shares were priced at 2,135 yen with indications between 2,100 to 2,200 yen, said Christian Kielland, a managing director at BTIG Hong Kong Ltd. Otsuka, preparing for the world’s biggest health-care initial public offering since at least 2006, set a share price of 2,100 yen.

“Volumes were light in the gray market for Otsuka, as investors were willing to wait until closer to the listing to get a firm sense of where it would open,” said BTIG’s Kielland.

The gray market is an over-the-counter platform for buying and selling securities before their listing on a stock exchange. Otsuka had an indicated range of 2,000 yen to 2,400 yen for its IPO. At 2,100 yen per share, the company will raise 198 billion yen ($2.36 billion) including overallotment.

Morgan Stanley, UBS AG and Nomura Holdings Inc. are managing Otsuka’s share sale. It begins trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Dec. 15.

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