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Spectacular Aussie listing for Aditya Birla Minerals

Written by: Staff

Melbourne, May 12: Perth-based Indian company, Aditya Birla Minerals Ltd has made a spectacular debut on Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

Copper producer Aditya Birla shares were priced at 1.95 dollars in the IPO and leaped to 3.66 Australian dollars on open at 1200 Melbourne time - up by a whopping 1.71 Australian dollars or over 88 per cent on the issue price.

The Birla shares closed at 3.19 Austalian dollars and were easily the highest traded stock on the ASX with more than 55.75 million shares traded - nearly a third of its total issued capital.

Birla Managing Director Sanjay Loyalka said he is happy with the Australians' response to the IPO and has been quoted by Australian media as saying that the performance of the shares had been in line with his expectations given the current appetite for copper.

''These are exciting times so it was very pleasing to see the result,'' he said.

''Copper prices have been very strong in recent times. Last month prices have gone up sharply so I was expecting a premium to the offer price,'' he added.

Aditya Birla Minerals Limited is a copper mining, development and exploration company with operations in Western Australia and Queensland.

After Friday's listing on ASX, company's previously sole owner Indian aluminium and copper producer Hindalco will retain a 51 per cent interest.

Aditya Birla Minerals Ltd is now the fourth largest hit the boards of the Australian Stock Exchange at a solid premium after raising nearly 300 million dollars in its initial public offering.

Perth-based company operates the recently commissioned Nifty sulphide operation in the resources rich Western Australia and is poised to become the fourth largest copper producer in Australia.

Aditya Birla Minerals had acquired the Nifty copper mine from Straits Resources Ltd in March 2003 for 89.8 million dollars and after Friday's spectacular debut on ASX is being valued at a whopping 1 billion Australian dollars.

Market pundits are marveling at Birla's timing as Australia is riding on a boom generated by insatiable demand of resources by emerging Asian economic powerhouses China and India.

The Indian majority owned miner has forecast a net profit of 45 million Australian dollars for 2006-07 on the back of copper production of 46,000 tonnes. The production is expected to more than double next year.

Copper, like numerous other commodities, is experiencing historical highs this year and Aditya Birla Minerals Ltd is likely to benefit hugely from this trend.

''The copper market is benefitting from a number of positive trends, particularly increasing demand from the Asian region, which are expected to continue to hold the market price for copper above historical long-term trends for at least the near to medium-term,'' chairman Debu Bhattacharya said a company statement.


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