In a post on his website, Webb-site on 15 February, Hong Kong-based governance activist David Webb has joined the debate on the lack of liquidity arising from multiple listings, a topic that was the subject of an article I published on both Dow Jones Investment Banker and on the website of The Wall Street Journal late last year. My article was also posted on IPO-book.com on 18 December.
In his article, David Webb points to the lack of liquidity in Asia in the shares of UK insurer Prudential, which listed in both Hong Kong and Singapore in 2010, at the time of its attempted acquisition of AIA. Since the Asian listings were made by way of introduction, i.e. without offering shares neither to institutions nor to the public, liquidity has remained extremely low. The example of Prudential’s Hong Kong listing is quite telling. As Webb says, this is a listing in name only.