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One-third of listed companies in WA

MORE than a third of companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange call Perth home, with more than 120 new Western Australian companies floating on the stock market this year. That compares to 98 new WA-based floats during 2006 and extends the number of WA companies listed on the ASX to 761, or more than a third of Australia’s listed companies. Mining contractor NRW Holdings has been the biggest, raising more than $300 million and listing in September. It eclipsed the $85.6 million raised by Ned Montarello’s financial services technology company ThinkSmart, which listed in June. ThinkSmart investors are likely to finish the year in the red, with the company’s shares this week trading at $1.80 or 16 per cent lower that the $2.15 issue price. But NRW investors are likely to receive a gain of about 40 per cent, with the company’s shares trading at $2.77 this week, or 77 cents above its $2 issue price. The stock has benefited from others in the sector determined to capitalise on surging demand for their services on the back of the resources boom. Electrical services contractor Southern Cross Electrical Engineering Ltd has maintained its solid performance after raising $59 million from investors. This week its shares traded 70 per cent above its $1 issue price. Meanwhile, fellow electrical engineer LogiCamms, which ignited the boards when it doubled on debut earlier this month, is trading about 35 per cent above its $1 issue price. Other big floats this year have long-term family owned mining services company Brierty Ltd, which raised $60 million, Plan B Holdings, which raised $30 million and Key Petroleum, which raised $19.2 million.

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