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Giant Chinese IPO soars as trading starts
Updated: 2009-07-29 11:32

BEIJING: Shares in a major Chinese construction company soared Wednesday as trading began after it raised $7.3 billion in the world's biggest initial public offering since March 2008.

China State Construction Engineering Corp., which built the "Water Cube" swimming center for the Beijing Olympics, was up 80 percent from its IPO price by midmorning on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Investor enthusiasm for State Construction reflected a rebound in China's financial markets since a steep plunge last year. The benchmark Shanghai index is up 80 percent this year, driven in part by heavy government stimulus spending.

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State Construction was one of China's first IPOs after regulators lifted a moratorium on new issues imposed last September due to falling prices.

State Construction is China's biggest builder of housing and also is known for such showcase projects as the futuristic state TV headquarters and China's tallest skyscraper, the 1,614-foot-tall (492-meter-tall) Shanghai World Financial Center.

Its IPO was the biggest since Visa's $19.7 billion offering in March 2008, according to financial data firm Dealogic. It is China's biggest since PetroChina Ltd. in October 2007 and the country's fourth-largest to date.