From: Ploy Chitsomboon, Bangkok Post, Thailand
Published March 31, 2005 12:00 AM

Solar Cell Maker's Shares Jump 45% on Debut

BANGKOK — Shares of Solartron Plc surged 45 percent from its initial public offering price, despite overall sluggishness in the Thai market.


Solartron shares opened the day at 8.5 baht and closed at a high of 11.60 baht on trade worth 2.52 billion baht. The company floated 80 million shares in its IPO at eight baht per share, with 300 million shares listed with a par value of one baht.


The Stock Exchange of Thailand meanwhile continued to decline, with the main index closing at 672.82 points, down 4.09 points, on trade worth 15.03 billion on continued foreign selling.


Wandee Khunchornyakong, the chief executive officer of Solartron Plc, said she was pleased with the firm's first-day trading debut considering overall poor market sentiment.


"We received very good feedback and demand from investors during the IPO. I believe the pricing was also fair, helping our trade on the market," she said.


"While market sentiment looks fairly poor, I'm happy with the results for our stock. We believe we offer an attractive prospect for investors seeking to invest in the energy conservation field."


Solartron, a solar cell manufacturer, expects revenue to grow 30 percent this year from the 1.05 billion baht last year.


Chuangchai Nawongs, the chief executive officer at lead underwriter Globlex Securities, said strong demand from investors who were unable to subscribe during the IPO helped boost activity on Solartron's first day of trade.


"When we did the IPO allocation, retail investors were oversubscribed about two times," he said.


"Most energy companies are defensive stocks, with steady revenues but slow growth. But Solartron is more of a growth stock, with good future prospects as interest in alternative energy grows."


To see more of the Bangkok Post, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.bangkokpost.com. Copyright (c) 2005, Bangkok Post, Thailand Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.


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