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SMIC shares surge in Shanghai debut after $6.6 bln offering

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Shares in semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), China's biggest chipmaker, more than tripled on Thursday on their Shanghai market debut in one of the most anticipated listings of the year.

The listing on Shanghai's Nasdaq-style STAR Market was closely watched given its size and importance to the country's ambitions to become more self-dependent in developing core technology. It also came amid rising U.S. restrictions on Chinese data firms.

SMIC opened at 95 yuan, 246% higher than its offer price of 27.46 yuan. It has said it plans to use the $6.6 billion raised in its share sale ahead of Thursday's listing to build plants and replenish operating capital.

Specifically, it intends to build out foundries for the manufacture of computer chips that can compete with those operated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TMSC), the industry's market leader.

Since 2019 a bevvy of Chinese semiconductor companies have listed in Shanghai, all of whom have rode investor optimism toward China's push toward greater technological independence.

However, the United States in May placed new restrictions on Chinese smartphone maker Huawei that would prevent it from receiving supplies or services from American companies.

The measures are expected to hamper TSMC's business with Huawei. While SMIC will also face difficulties due to the restrictions, analysts say that the company remains China's best hope for developing a first-class chip fab, in spite of significant business hurdles.

SMIC's Hong Kong-listed shares fell around 10% in early morning in volatile trade.

(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Josh Horwitz; Editing by Jane Wardell)