Hong Kong bourse welcomes latest stock with virtual gong

Hong Kong IPO gong. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

Hong Kong’s stock exchange welcomed its newest stock with a virtual gong-banging ceremony as the Asian financial hub seeks to keep business going amid a partial lock-down that has now lasted for almost two months to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

InnoCare Pharma Ltd., a Chinese biotech firm on Monday, became the first initial public offering to debut via a virtual listing ceremony at Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., following similar events in both Shanghai and Shenzhen in mainland China. The shares rose 11.2% to HK$9.95 as of 11:30 a.m., even as the benchmark Hang Seng index slid almost 3.3%.

InnoCare, which also moved its presentations to investors online ahead of the IPO, successfully priced a $288 million transaction earlier this month at the top of its range amid one of the worst market routs in more than three decades. Normally a festive affair, a listing usually attracts hundreds of people including executives, bankers and lawyers as well as caterers.

Hong Kong, which has seen a recent spike in coronavirus cases, has restricted travel into the city, forcing most visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days. The virus has infected more than 300,000 people globally and killed almost 15,000, and is set to trigger a steep drop in economic activity across the world.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange arranged a virtual listing starting Feb. 23, starting off with a company from Hubei, the heart of virus outbreak. Shenzhen Stock Exchange also welcomed its first “cloud listing” on March 6.

Bloomberg

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.