Hathway Cable's $158 mln IPO fully subscribed

India cable company serves 13 cities, provides broadband

MUMBAI -- India's Hathway Cable & Datacom's IPO to raise $158.4 million was fully subscribed on the final day, easing concerns that demand for share sales from Indian companies may be waning in the wake of a recent stock market downturn.

The sale, coming soon after a follow-on offer from No. 1 Indian power producer NTPC that was poorly received, was subscribed 1.36 times by late evening on Thursday, data from the National Stock Exchange showed.

The portion of the offering allotted to institutions was covered 1.4 times, but the response from retail investors was muted.

Retail investors have shied away from recent Indian IPOs such as those from JSW Energy and DB Realty, with analysts blaming rich valuations.

The muted response to the NTPC offer amid a recent fall in India's main index, had stoked worries that share sales from other firms would meet a similar fate.

The benchmark BSE index has dropped 7.5% since the start of the year, after surging 81% in 2009.

However, bankers and analysts say that companies that depend on domestic consumption would fare better, and are likely to benefit from increased demand as India, Asia's third-largest economy, recovers from the global slowdown.

Hathway's cable TV services are available in 13 cities across India, including Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore, and the company also provides broadband internet services.

Strong economic growth over the past decade in India has lifted incomes and led to a flourishing middle class that is increasingly turning to television and the internet for entertainment as well as news.

The proceeds from the IPO will be used for customer acquisitions, capital expenditure, loan repayment and general corporate purposes, Hathway has said.

Morgan Stanley, UBS and Kotak Mahindra were managers for the issue.
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