Chinese automaker BYD raised a less-than-stellar 1.42 billion yuan ($219 million U.S. at the current exchange rate) in its initial public offering in Shenzhen, China late last week. Analysts say that BYD's IPO was weighed down by weak investor sentiment and worries over the automaker's poor performance.

In a statement released to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Sunday, BYD announced that it had priced its IPO at 18 yuan ($2.78 U.S.) per share and had initially set its sights on raising 2.19 billion yuan ($338 million U.S.). BYD sold 79 million shares in its IPO and will use proceeds from the sale to fund its lithium-ion battery project, add to research and development and expand its automotive unit.

Over the past three years, Shenzhen-based BYD tried to return to the stock market and finally received approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission in May. The automaker has struggled as of late, with sales declining since the second half of 2010.

[Source: Ward's Auto – sub. req.]

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