By Joyce Lee
SEOUL, Oct 18 (Reuters) - South Korean train manufacturer Hyundai Rotem Company raised 622.4 billion won ($585.22 million) in an initial public offering, capitalising on robust demand for the country's largest IPO since 2010 and a lack of similar-sized listings.
The offering of 27.06 million shares was priced at 23,000 won per share, at the top of an 17,000-23,000 won indicative range, making it South Korea's fourth largest IPO since 2006, when the local stock exchange's records began.
"Hyundai Rotem's stable profit model of captive markets, coupled with South Korean shares' recent attractiveness amid volatile global market conditions, seems to have driven appetite," said Lee Jae-won, an analyst at Tong Yang Securities.
South Korea has seen a standstill in offerings exceeding 300 billion won since 2011, as weak demand and difficult market conditions such as the euro zone crisis delayed listing plans from companies such as Hyundai Oilbank and POSCO Specialty Steel.
But Hyundai Rotem tapped the market when the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) is at its year-to-date high, driven by a record 35 consecutive sessions of foreign buying which had accounted for more than 12.1 trillion won in net inflows as of Thursday.
Hyundai Rotem has more than 90 percent market share in South Korean train orders, as well as a record of steady battle tank orders from South Korea's military. It also builds processing lines for the factories of major shareholder Hyundai Motor Co and affiliate Hyundai Steel Co.
After the listing, Hyundai Motor will own a 43.4 percent of the company, down from a 57.6 percent stake. A Morgan Stanley fund, which had owned the remaining 42.4 percent before listing, will see its stake pared down to 24.8 percent.
Hyundai Rotem reported 175 billion won in operating profit for 2012 on 3.1 trillion won of revenue. It has earmarked the majority of the proceeds to pay down debt and improve the firm's financial structure, Chief Financial Officer Kim Young-gon told reporters on Wednesday.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank , Daewoo Securities Co Ltd and Woori Investment & Securities Co Ltd were the IPO's global coordinators and joint bookrunners.