There's New Bounce In Asian Ipo Markets

As economies rev up, companies are hustling to raise money

Just a month ago, cash-hungry Asian companies believed that the region's equity markets were all but dead. China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), the country's largest producer, scrapped a planned stock sale in mid-October because of weak markets. So did Thai Military Bank. Even Raffles Holdings, operator of Singapore's landmark Raffles Hotel, decided to wait until next year. Then came China Telecom (Hong Kong) Ltd.: The mainland mobile-phone provider surprised everybody by raising a cool $2.6 billion in equity and bonds on Oct. 28. What's more, the Hong Kong government's much dismissed tracker fund, which mirrors the Hang Seng index, is generating considerable enthusiasm, too.

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