The 163% first-day gain in PetroChina's Shanghai-listed A-shares was enough to see corporate and institutional investors bail out of the stock, having already netted large profits, the South China Morning Post reported. According to state media, China Life, the mainland's largest investor, sold 3.62 million shares in PetroChina when the company made its debut on Monday. The insurer subscribed to 176.5 million shares at RMB16.70 (US$2.24) in PetroChina's initial public offering. It is estimated that selling 80 million of these shares earned China Life over US$300 million. Given that large-scale interest from retail investors saw PetroChina's stock peak above RMB48 (US$6.45), well above analysts' forecasts, China Life's decision to sell was described as a savvy one. PetroChina shares closed at RMB40.43 (US$5.43) on Wednesday, which still values the company at 50 times estimated earnings for 2007.
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