Just as Hong Kong has taken over from Japan as the second largest stock exchange in Asia (behind Shanghai), and as larger and better performing IPOs show renewed confidence on the part of investors in the city, Singapore’s primary markets have quietly (and rather worryingly) gone off the grid.
HKEX just released its strategic plan for the next three years, painting itself as the “global markets leader in the Asian time zone”. read
At the end of last month, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange published a consultation paper seeking feedback on a proposed suspension requirement for listed companies with a “disclaimer or adverse audit opinion on their financial statements”. read
As the introduction of weighted voting rights (WVR) and pre-revenue companies’ listings get nearer in Hong Kong, I see an opportune time for a quick take on the types of companies that the exchange — which is probably the most volatile of the world’s major primary markets — readily allows.
Last week, Hong Kong’s plans to play host to IPOs of international behemoths such as Saudi Aramco took a serious hit, amid news that both Glencore and Tapestry, the owner of luxury fashion brand Coach, would delist from the local exchange. read
Over the summer, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX) released a fascinating, but little noticed, survey detailing cash trading on its two listing platforms, the Main Board and GEM. The survey also included southbound trading undertaken through the Shanghai-Hong Kong and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect schemes, launched in 2014 and December 2016, respectively. read
The CEO of HKEX may be keen for Saudi Aramco to list in Hong Kong but as I explain, there are more reasons for the Saudi oil giant to bypass the city’s exchange than to pick it for a listing. read
Readers of this column will be familiar with my occasional ranting about Hong Kong’s cornerstone investor regime, and in particular the doltish six-month lock-up rule which the Singapore Exchange, for one, never saw fit to introduce, and which even Bursa Malaysia ended up ditching, after having initially restricted it to subscriptions representing 5% or more of a company’s share capital. read
On July 27, the HKEx announced that “it was minded to exercise its power” to cancel the listing of China Oriental Group within a period of six months, due to the company’s insufficient public float. This, however, was only the latest step in a rather long saga, which illustrates to a tee not only that the exchange’s minimum free float rule actually serves little purpose, but also how incredibly slowly the regulators can move to make decisions in the city, thereby hurting both institutional and retail investors. read
Hong Kong IPO issuance has seen healthy volumes so far this year. At US$68.3 billion, according to Dealogic, new listings on HKEx have already reached the level achieved for the entire year in 2014. The outcome of deals, however, remains heavily dependent on cornerstone investors, while oversized syndicates have sadly been back in full force since at least late spring. read