Belle International Holdings, which runs some 3,700 shoe stores in China and owns and licenses several footwear brands, made its debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange Wednesday by closing the day with a share price at HK$8.14, 31 percent above the the price negotiated by institutional investors. The initial public offering raised US$1.1 billion, valueing the company at about US$6.5 billion, or 32-35 times is expected 2007 earnings, as compared with 24 times earnings for Prime Success, a Chinese shoe manufacturer quoted on the same exchange. Institutional investors accepted to pay HK$6.20 per share, at the top of the offer price, and the demand was so high that they offered 50 percent of the shares to the public and that a 15 percent greenshoe allotment is likely to be exercised. The family holding company of Bernard Arnault, major shareholder of LVMH, pledged to acquire 2.91 percent of Belle. Belle plans to use the proceeds to open about 1,000 more stores per year in China.