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Written by: Staff

HONG KONG, Oct 27 (Reuters) Shares in Industrial&Commercial Bank of China, which raised US$19 billion in the world's largest IPO, were set to open 17 percent higher in their Hong Kong debut on Friday -- in line with forecasts -- after its stock sale generated huge investor demand.

The largest Chinese lender, making the first simultaneous Hong Kong and mainland China listing, was indicated at HK$3.60 in pre-market trade in Hong Kong, compared with an IPO price of HK$3.07 -- at the top of an indicative range.

Market watchers expected the Hong Kong shares to rise as much as 20 percent in their debut.

Its domestically-listed A shares rose as much as 10.2 percent above their offering price of 3.12 yuan to 3.44 yuan in early Shanghai trade.

The deal, which is expected to be increased to $21.9 billion through the exercise of an overallotment option, values ICBC at $129 billion, ranking it seventh among global banks, ahead of Wells Fargo and behind UBS AG.

The stock sale was the most popular in Hong Kong and China history, and unmet demand for shares, combined with a surging Hong Kong market and an offering priced at a discount to peers, was expected to help lift first-day trading performance.

The IPO, about 75 percent of which was sold to Hong Kong and global investors and the remainder in the mainland, surpasses Japan's NTT Docomo, which raised $18.4 billion in 1998, as the world's largest share sale.

Reuters DKS VP0740

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