Via Reuters Finance

FILE PHOTO: Budweiser beer bottles are seen in a cooler at a liquor shop in Kolkata, India, September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Shares in AB InBev’s Asia-Pacific unit (1876.HK), which last week raised about $5 billion after relaunching its initial public offering (IPO), gained as much as 4% on their market debut in Hong Kong on Monday.

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (AB InBev) (ABI.BR), the world’s largest brewer, relaunched the unit IPO this month after cancelling a plan for a bigger float in July citing “several factors, including the prevailing market conditions”.

The Asia unit, Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd, raised about $5 billion in the world’s second-biggest IPO this year, after pricing the Hong Kong float at the bottom of a marketed range.

Budweiser APAC shares rose to as much as HK$28.10 at open on Monday, compared to its IPO price of HK$27 per share. The stock was trading at HK$28, up 3.79%, at 1001 local time (0201 GMT), while the market index .HSI was down 0.2%.

Proceeds from the IPO of Budweiser APAC, whose portfolio of more than 50 beer brands includes Stella Artois and Corona, will help AB InBev reduce debt of over $100 billion accumulated following the purchase of rival SABMiller in late 2016.

The brewer also has another goal – to create an Asian champion to spur consolidation. Analysts see the brewing assets of San Miguel (SMC.PS) of the Philippines or of Thai Beverage (TBEV.SI) as possible partners or targets.

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JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) are the joint sponsors of the Budweiser IPO. They are also among the global coordinators for the offering with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Chinese investment bank CICC.

Reporting by Julie Zhu and Alun John; Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Himani Sarkar