IPO activity in Hong Kong gathers pace after dry summer

Residential and commercial buildings are seen from Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, China, on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Photographer: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg Photo by Bloomberg

After the quietest month in more than six years, initial public offerings are finally picking up in Hong Kong.

Just one company went public in the Asian financial hub in August, Hands Form Holdings Ltd., in a tiny HK$130 million ($17 million) IPO. The last time only one company listed in a whole month was in April 2013, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

While it’s not unusual for the summer months to be quiet with many bankers and investors on vacation, this month’s activity has been particularly sedate as the city’s ongoing protests and an escalating trade war between China and the U.S. dented investor sentiment.

Activity is now gathering pace, with one company, Shanghai Henlius Biotech Inc., on the road gauging investor demand for an initial share sale that could raise at least $600 million, people with knowledge of the matter have said. Czech consumer finance company Home Credit BV had a hearing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange listing committee on Thursday, people familiar with the matter said, meaning it could also start assessing investor demand soon.

And Bank of Guizhou plans to start pre-marketing a Hong Kong IPO of up to $1 billion as early as next week, IFR Asia reported, citing unidentified people close to the deal.

Hong Kong badly needs more deals. With only $10.8 billion raised through IPOs so far, it ranks fourth among global exchanges, behind rival New York. This time last year companies had raised $24.3 billion in Hong Kong IPOs, though admittedly 2018 was a blockbuster year.

Elsewhere, things are also getting busy in Southeast Asia. The property arm of Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi is weighing investor demand for an IPO of its property arm, Asset World Corp., people familiar with the matter said. Meanwhile Australia’s Lendlease Group plans to start pre-marketing a real estate investment trust IPO in Singapore of up to S$750m next week, IFR Asia reported, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the transaction.

Upcoming Listngs

  • Shanghai Henlius Biotech
    • Hong Kong exchange
    • Size at least $600m
    • Started gauging investor demand Aug. 26
    • BofA Merrill Lynch, CICC, Citi, CMBI, Fosun Hani
  • Telefast Indonesia (provider of enterprise software solutions)
    • Kresna Sekuritas and Trimegah Sekuritas
    • Expected to price Sept. 5; offering period Sept. 9-11
    • Expected listing Sept. 16
  • AllHome (home-furnishing retailer)
    • Size about $230m
    • Approved by Philippines exchange Aug. 19
    • Owned by billionaire Manuel Villar
  • Beijing ABT Networks (maker of security products)
    • Shanghai Star market
    • Expected to take orders Aug. 28; listing date TBA
    • Tianfeng Securities
  • Ruida Futures (Chinese brokerage)
    • Shenzhen exchange
    • Expected to take orders Aug. 27; listing date TBA
    • Citic Sec., Essence Sec.
  • Sinosoft Co. (Chinese software company)
    • Shanghai exchange
    • $105m; listing date TBA
    • Zhongtai Securities

More ECM situations we are following:

  • Blued, China’s largest gay-dating app, is planning a U.S. initial public offering that could raise about $200 million, according to people familiar with the matter
  • Hong Kong investment bank AMTD Group Co., which listed a subsidiary in New York this month, plans to sell additional shares on the Singapore stock exchange to finance an expansion in Southeast Asia, according to people familiar with the matter
  • The Shanghai stock exchange will encourage so-called red-chip firms, including AI companies, to list on the Sci-Tech Innovation Board, Jiang Feng, president of the exchange, said at World AI Conference in Shanghai
  • Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is considering a plan to split the world’s largest IPO into two stages, debuting a portion of its shares on the Saudi stock exchange later this year, and following up with an international offering in 2020 or 2021, Dow Jones reports, citing unidentified people familiar with the plans.