The reason why HKEX now proposes to introduce changes to the way some primary equity offerings are conducted is, it says, “to address recent concerns about certain share issuance transactions that might not afford a fair treatment of shareholders, or an orderly market for securities trading”.
In December, I reviewed the disappointing volumes last year for primary equity issuance in Southeast Asia, and wondered whether 2016 could be the year when ECM bankers who cover the region become busy again. With the Chinese bourses now in free fall, the authorities there repeatedly depreciating the Yuan in a bid to prop up the economy, and an extension of the ban on equity sales by large investors in Shanghai and Shenzhen, market participants could indeed well turn their attention down South again. read
HONG KONG (Dow Jones Banking Intelligence) – Forget about everything you have read about banks in Asia being asked to provide hard underwriting commitments for IPOs. Brokers have now found a new way to avoid remaining stuck with shares on their books – thanks to increasingly common cornerstone investor arrangements. read
HONG KONG (Dow Jones Investment Banker) – The US$500 million-plus privatization of national carrier PT Garuda Indonesia last month is widely thought to have been rushed and significantly overpriced, and some of the domestic underwriters reportedly may now need to raise capital to cover their losses. The sorry episode brings to light the practice of firm commitment underwriting of IPOs in some jurisdictions in Asia, and shows it actually does little for corporates, their shareholders and investors, let alone the brokerages involved.