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As Hong Kong IPOs Flop, Outlook For Second Half Dims

Of 132 IPOs and secondary listings on the city’s stock exchange since the start of 2021, which raised some $47.6 billion, 111 are currently trading in the red, new data has shown


Some investment funds are shifting from US-listed China companies to firms listed in Hong Kong.
Some investors believe more companies will follow the lead of Alibaba and opt for dual 'primary listings' in both the US and Hong Kong. Photo: Reuters.

 

The poor performance of most new stock listings in Hong Kong over the past 18 months is clouding the prospects for share sales during the rest of the year.

Of 132 initial public offerings (IPOs) and secondary listings on the city’s stock exchange since the start of 2021 – collectively raising $47.6 billion – most are trading well below their initial price with 111 in the red, data from analytics firm Dealogic shows.

Markets have been ravaged over the past two years by a storm of volatility, with economic disruption from the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine, inflation and interest rate hikes in major economies, as well as a wave of Chinese regulation.

“All new deals aren’t the same, some look okay, but many IPOs being offered currently, in many of the cases just don’t have the same appeal as quality companies currently listed with a long earnings history trading well below intrinsic value,” Sam Lecornu, co-founder of fund manager Stonehorn Global, said. “Why buy an IPO when a better company is already listed at better price, I think this is what the market is telling you.”

 

ALSO SEE: Hong Kong Exchange Could Reap Billions From US Delistings

 

New IPO volume has plunged 90% so far this year in Hong Kong. The city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index is down 14%, led by a drop of 22.7% in the tech sector and 15% in property.

Property developer Sanxun Holdings Group is the worst-performing new listing over the past 19 months, with its stock down 93% since its IPO in July last year.

Healthcare firm Broncus Holding Corp is off 86% and Suzhou Basecare Medical Corp has lost 85% since listing in February 2021.

The biggest deal this year is likely to be that of Shanghai-listed China Tourism Duty Free Corp. The firm has filed for a Hong Kong secondary listing that could raise $2 billion to $3 billion in the third quarter, sources have said. China Tourism did not respond to a request for comment.

So far, the biggest deal was that of Chinese commerce platform Huitongda Network, which raised just $297 million in February.

“The small number of deals and the lack of large-scale, eye-catching IPOs has caused investors to pay less attention to the IPO market, reducing their enthusiasm for investing in them,” securities strategist Kenny Ng at Everbright International said.

Dealmakers are hoping for a pick-up in listings to mitigate what is otherwise set to be Hong Kong’s slowest year since 2009.

“I think into November and even into next year we could start to see some increase in IPO activity,” Arthur Tso, a partner at DLA Piper, said.

“There seems to be a number of deals which are waiting for the window to open as to when they could tap the markets but it feels like the fourth quarter will be the most likely option for that to happen.”

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

ALSO SEE:

China Tourism Seeks $2-3bn From Hong Kong Listing

Hong Kong Market, IPOs Hurt by Geopolitics, Bourse CEO Says

Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange Launches First Carbon ETF

Hong Kong Clings to Finance Hub Ranking – SCMP

 

 

 

Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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