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Westports Advances in $644 Million Kuala Lumpur IPO Debut

Westports Holdings Bhd., part-owned by billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s Hutchison Port Holdings, surged on its Kuala Lumpur debut after completing Malaysia’s second-largest share sale this year.

Shares of the terminal operator gained 6 percent to close at 2.65 ringgit. The stock was the most active on the Kuala Lumpur bourse with 202.6 million shares traded. The company priced its shares for institutions at 2.50 ringgit each, the top end of its marketed range.

Westports operates facilities at Malaysia’s Port Klang, one of the main hubs serving container traffic along the Straits of Malacca, which links Asia with the Middle East and Europe. The company has a 69 percent market share of container volume at the port, with six terminals and potential to build another three, according to its website.

“This company is like a utility company, where the business and profit are quite secure,” Choo Swee Kee, who oversees 700 million ringgit as chief investment officer at TA Investment Management Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur, said by phone today. Choo didn’t subscribe to Westports shares.

The company’s IPO raised 2.03 billion ringgit ($644 million), making it Malaysia’s second-biggest this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. UMW Oil & Gas Corp.’s share sale raised 2.36 billion ringgit this month.

Westports, whose biggest shareholder is local billionaire G. Gnanalingam, has a fair value of 2.90 ringgit, K&N Kenanga Holdings Bhd. said in an Oct. 16 report, advising investors to accumulate shares given its projected “decent” dividend yield of 3.5 percent in 2014.

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