Hong Kong IPOs are at their hottest since second quarter of 2015

Kowloon, Hong Kong. Photo: Shuja/Unsplash

Hong Kong initial public offerings are enjoying their hottest quarter among retail investors in four years.

The median retail subscription ratio for IPOs since the start of October is 13 times, the highest since the second quarter of 2015, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Back then, retail investors put in orders of 180 times the amount on offer, when the market hit a peak. Now, the Hang Seng Index is almost flat for the year.

The popularity of listings comes as Hong Kong enjoys an end-of-year spike in equity issuance despite prolonged anti-government protests and market volatility from the U.S.-China trade war.

Hong Kong is on track to surpass 2018 in terms of fundraising for first-time share sales, with companies raising $36.6 billion so far, just $200 million short of last year’s total — which itself was the highest since 2010. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s mega $12.9 billion share sale in the city last month gave a huge boost to the financial hub, which earlier this year had fallen far behind rival New York exchanges in issuance volume.

For now, Hong Kong’s position as a financial center is “unassailable,” said John Woods, chief investment officer for Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse Group AG, at an event in the city on Monday. Alibaba’s Hong Kong share sale — the world’s largest dual listing ever — is proof, Woods said. “That’s a pretty powerful statement and speaks to liquidity. There’s nowhere else in Asia that has the level of liquidity that China needs.”

The IPO exuberance is also reflected in the additional amount companies have been raising through their greenshoe, or over-allotment options. Alibaba fully exercised its option to sell up to 15% more shares, it said on Tuesday.

Companies have raised $3.49 billion through over-allotment options this year, the most since 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The figure for 2018 was just $2.23 billion, despite total issuance being higher. In percentage terms, companies since January have exercised on average 11% of the total 15% over-allotment available, weighted by deal size.

Upcoming Listings :

  • Postal Savings Bank of China
    • Shanghai exchange
    • Size $4.1b
    • Taking orders Nov. 28; listing date TBA
    • Citic Securities, CICC, China Post Securities, UBS Securities
  • Uni-Charm Indonesia
    • Jakarta stock exchange
    • Size up to $106.2m
    • Pricing Dec. 3, listing Dec. 20
    • Nomura, PT Sinarmas Sekuritas
  • Venus MedTech
    • Hong Kong exchange
    • Size $331m
    • Listing Dec. 10
    • Goldman Sachs, CICC, Credit Suisse, China Merchants Securities
  • China Merchants Commercial REIT
    • Hong Kong exchange
    • Size up to $383m
    • Pricing Dec. 3; listing Dec. 10
    • Citigroup
  • Alphamab Oncology
    • Hong Kong exchange
    • Size up to $234m
    • Pricing Dec. 6; listing Dec. 12
    • Morgan Stanley, Jefferies, CLSA
  • Renrui Human Resources Technology
    • Hong Kong exchange
    • Size up to $140m
    • Pricing Dec. 6, listing Dec. 13
    • BNP Paribas
  • XD Inc.
    • Hong Kong exchange
    • Size up tp $128m
    • Pricing Dec. 5, listing Dec. 12
    • CLSA
  • Bangkok Commercial Asset Management
    • Thailand stock exchange
    • Size $887m
    • Listing Dec. 16
    • Trinity Securities, Kasikorn Securities, UBS
  • Chison Medical Technologies
    • Shanghai Star board
    • Size $150m
    • Priced Nov. 19; listing TBA
    • Sinolink Securities
  • OneConnect Financial Technology
    • New York Stock Exchange
    • Size up to $504m
    • Pricing Dec. 12
    • Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Ping An of China Securities

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.