Despite overseas concern about the giant dam's
environmental impact, Chinese investors rushed to
apply for Monday's $1.19bn Initial Public Offering
(IPO) by Yangtze Electric Power, the company funding
the massive hydroelectric project.
The enthusiasm shown towards China's largest float of
2003, has been fuelled by the fact the country's
electricity consumption is rising 16% annually, and
current supply is failing to keep up with the demand.
When fully completed by 2009, the dam will generate
more than 80 billion kWh of electricity a year. The first of its 26 generators went online back in
Analysts believe Yangtze Electric Power stock will
climb between 40 and 60% on its debut in the coming
David Yip, analyst at Merrill Lynch, said: "China
energy stocks are a hot topic, not only domestically
but internationally as well. Power shortages are the
best thing for power producers."
While retail investors tried to buy nearly 70 times
the number of shares on sale, subscription levels from
institutional investors, who are being offered 45% of
the float, were not published.
The Yangtze Electric Power IPO is the fourth-largest
ever in China, following after oil giant Sinopec,
mobile carrier China Unicom, and China Merchants Bank.
One investor, 34-year-old Jian from Shanghai, said,
"I'm investing because I've lost hope in most stocks
at the moment. This is a new opportunity and I want to
take advantage of it."
After 10 years of construction the 300m high dam has
meant 600,000 people having to be resettled due to
whole areas beside the Yangtze river in central China
being flooded as the reservoir started to fill up.
Whole towns disappeared under the water.
Despite this human impact, the Chinese authorities say
the dam will stop the devastating - and all too
frequent - Yangtze river floods.
The largest hydroelectric project the world has ever
seen, the resulting 365 mile-long reservoir will be
visible from space, and the scheme will produce 10% of
China's entire electricity needs.