Chinese stocks gain as investors unleash cash parked for suspended Ant IPO

Photo: Reuters

The shock suspension of Ant Group’s massive share offering and a possible Joe Biden US presidency have become fresh tailwinds for China‘s stock market, as investors rush to snap up a piece of an economy recovering rapidly from the coronavirus pandemic.

Chinese regulators torpedoed the fintech giant’s $37 billion initial public offering, set to be the world’s largest stock market listing, after founder Jack Ma publicly criticised the country’s financial watchdogs and banks.

As trillions of dollars locked up by the IPO return to the market, investors searching for a place to park that cash have lifted Chinese e-commerce firms such as Meituan and JD.com to record highs this week.

Even after losses on Friday, the Hang Seng TECH index was up 8.2% for the week, its biggest weekly gain since early July.

Sean Taylor, chief investment officer in Asia for German asset manager DWS, said the IPO’s collapse was stunning, but the scramble to subscribe showed the depth of Asia’s investor pool. “It shows there is a huge, huge demand for buying equities when they think they’ve got upside. I expect some of that money goes back into markets,” he said.

“The IPO pipeline looks pretty healthy and the equity culture is growing…and that’s a big thing.”

The fresh enthusiasm for Chinese shares isn’t confined to Hong Kong.

Foreign investors bought a net 21.42 billion yuan ($3.24 billion) of Chinese A-shares in the first five trading days of November, Hong Kong stock exchange data showed. Investors were seen betting on resurgent domestic demand and government policies through companies such as liquor maker Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd and LONGi Green Energy Technology Co Ltd.

These investors were net sellers in August and September and made only tiny purchases in October through the Stock Connect scheme, which gives offshore investors access to shares of Chinese firms traded on the mainland.

Biden wind

Early indications that Democratic candidate Joe Biden could unseat incumbent Donald Trump have also pushed the yuan and stocks up.

Biden is expected to take a less confrontational approach to Sino-US relations if elected, removing a drag on Chinese shares that have nonetheless outperformed their peers this year as the world’s No.2 economy recovers.

The blue-chip CSI300 index has risen more than 19% this year, versus a less than 9% gain for the S&P 500.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley said the firm was staying overweight China within emerging markets as China‘s corporate earnings recovery continues. An influx of new capital will be key to supporting valuations of Chinese companies, already near historic highs, as more rush to list, said Shen Yi, chief executive officer at Shanghai ShenYi Investment Co.

China‘s A-share market welcomed 325 new listings worth a record 542.5 billion yuan in the first 10 months of 2020, more than triple the value of new listings in the same period a year earlier, Shenwan Hongyuan Securities analysts said in a report.

“The speed is…too high and there’s not enough fresh money flowing to the market,” Shen said. “Everything depends on the money flow direction for this market.”

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.