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Hyundai Motor shares hit record high as investors bet on India IPO

2022 World Car Awards at the New York International Auto Show, in New York City

By Heekyong Yang

SEOUL (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Co's shares hit a record high as investors bet on the South Korean automaker's plan to list its India unit in Mumbai, which would help Hyundai Motor boost its presence in the world's third biggest auto market.

Shares of Hyundai Motor rose as much as 6.3% on Monday to 285,000 won ($206.47), and closed up 3.9%, a record high close which lifted its market capitalization to 58.3 trillion won.

The benchmark KOSPI closed 0.5% lower.

Hyundai Motor's India unit last week sought regulatory approval for a listing in Mumbai, which could be the nation's biggest and will see the South Korean parent sell a stake of up to 17.5% in the company.

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"Investors are betting on Hyundai Motor's growth in the Indian market, one of Hyundai Motor's four biggest revenue generating markets along with the United States, South Korea and Western Europe," said analyst Song Sun-jae with Hana Securities.

"With the India IPO, Hyundai Motor could better accelerate its plans for the India market, such as getting dibs on the electric vehicle (EV) market there ahead of their competitors by producing EVs in the country by adjusting its existing production site," Song added.

The Hyundai draft prospectus filed gave no details of the pricing of the initial public offering or the company's valuation, but sources told Reuters that Hyundai aims to raise around $2.5-$3 billion at a valuation of up to $30 billion.

Hyundai, India's second-biggest car maker behind Maruti Suzuki, will not issue new shares in the IPO which will involve its South Korean parent selling part of its stake in the wholly owned unit to retail and other investors via a so-called "offer for sale" route.

The South Korean parent will sell up to 142 million of the total 812 million shares, or 17.5%, in the IPO. The sources have said the final percentage could be lower.

($1 = 1,380.3300 won)

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Additional reporting by Jihoon Lee; editing by Miral Fahmy)