China Shenhua Energy, the country's biggest coal producer, raised 66.58 billion yuan ($8.9 billion) in China's largest domestic IPO after pricing the share offer at the top of an indicative range.

Shenhua said on Wednesday it had sold 1.8 billion new local-currency A shares, or 9 percent of its expanded share capital, at 36.99 yuan a share, attracting a record 2.66 trillion yuan of subscriptions from retail and institutional investors.

The massive demand for the Shanghai IPO, which exceeded the previous record of 2.26 trillion yuan for China Construction Bank's initial public offer this month, suggests regulators' efforts to cool the stock market with a string of big cash calls are having little effect.

Officials hope that by boosting the supply of shares, the heavy IPO schedule will absorb much of the flood of new money that has doubled the Shanghai index this year. So far, however, many stock offerings appear to be pushing the market up further by stimulating interest in sectors such as energy and resources.

The pricing of Shenhua's IPO left the A shares at a 16 percent discount to the HK$45.80 last close of its Hong Kong-listed H shares. Since the A shares of most dual-listed Chinese firms trade at premiums of over 30 percent to their H shares, Shenhua's A shares are likely to rise sharply on listing.

The offer price valued Shenhua at 44.76 times its 2006 earnings, diluted by the offer, compared with an average of about 60 times for companies listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Shenhua sold 1.26 billion A shares to retail investors and 540 million to institutions after the ratio was shifted in favour of the retail tranche because of strong demand. ($1=7.507 Yuan)