Shanghai Forte introduces the "land factory"

The city''s largest private sector developer attempts to sell a new property concept to investors.

Roadshows for a $114 million to $149 million IPO of Shanghai's largest privately-owned property developer, Shanghai Forte, began on Wednesday under the lead management of HSBC.

While small, the 455.9 million share offering is significant on two counts. Firstly and depressingly, it is only the second straight equity offering from non-Japan Asia so far this year and as such its reception will be closely monitored. Secondly, the company represents the first in a wave of Chinese developers trying to promote the concept of a land factory among an investor base used to dealing with a small number of Hong Kong developers and their huge land banks.

Unlike Hong Kong, where...

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