Air China's initial public offering raised US$1.08bn after pricing its stock near the top end of its range, bankers involved with the sale said. In total, China's biggest international carrier and the last of the big Chinese airlines to list sold 2.8bn shares , or 31% of its equity, at HK$2.98 ($0.38) each. Strong demand meant its shares were more than 83 times oversubscribed by ordinary investors. The airline's flotation price values the business at nearly 11 times its projected 2005 earnings. Rivals China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines trade at 11.8 times and 14.9 times forward earnings, respectively. Trading in Air China shares is due to begin in Hong Kong and London Wednesday.
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