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China Oilfield to Raise $758 Million in Share Placement

China Oilfield Services Ltd., a unit of the nation’s biggest offshore energy company, said it plans to raise HK$5.88 billion ($758 million) for general corporate purposes through a private sale of new shares.

The company will sell 276.3 million Hong Kong-listed shares at HK$21.30 each, a 7 percent discount to yesterday’s closing price, according to a filing with the city’s stock exchange yesterday. The company let a planned sale of as many as 500 million Shanghai-listed A shares lapse in 2012.

China Oilfield, a unit of China National Offshore Oil Corp., has surged 46 percent in Hong Kong trading in the past year, as its main customer Cnooc Ltd. increased capital spending on offshore exploration. China Oilfield owns the world’s largest offshore drilling fleet among state-owned firms and is well positioned to benefit from rising capital spending, Gordon Kwan, the regional head of oil and gas research at Nomura Holdings Inc., said in a Jan. 3 note.

“This is an attractive deal for investors, given the placement proceeds will fund the company’s expanded capital expenditures, a reflection of robust drilling rig demand from customers like CNOOC,” Kwan said today by phone from Hong Kong. “The completion of this deal will remove the share price overhang on the stock.”

Kwan has a buy rating on the stock with a target price of HK$29.50.

Broaden Shareholder Base

China Oilfield rose 0.4 percent to HK$23.00 in Hong Kong, compared with a 1.3 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

“The placing represents a good opportunity to broaden the shareholder base of the company and to raise capital for the company for its future business development,” Beijing-based China Oilfield said in the filing. The company expects net proceeds of HK$5.82 billion after commissions and expenses.

The share sale will be conducted under the company’s general mandate from stockholders and so won’t need special approval from them, it said. The stock will be allocated to no fewer than six and no more than 10 independent professional, institutional or individual investors, China Oilfield said, without naming the investors.

Units of China International Capital Corp., Credit Suisse Group AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are the placing agents, China Oilfield said.

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