For all the talk of a deluge of tech IPOs soon hitting the Asian (and especially Hong Kong) markets, the performance of new listings and investor appetite there both remain decidedly subdued. read
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
Around this time last year, I reviewed the dismal performance of the Hong Kong primary markets, and ventured a guess that investors could instead turn en masse to ECM transactions in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia – and even the Philippines. How wrong I was! 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
Forget about reindeer with shiny noses, fir trees and shopping mall carols. For those in the finance industry, the end of the year takes an altogether different meaning. read
In Asia, cornerstone investors are regarded as a vital ingredient for successful major listings. And Hong Kong – where such investors are subject to lock-up restrictions – has also increasingly seen the advent of anchor investors. read
As Hong Kong’s financial marketplace becomes increasingly reliant on the Chinese mainland for its IPOs, Singapore’s big opportunity perhaps lies with international issuers – and those from Southeast Asia in particular. read
The past few weeks have seen widespread announcements of share buy-backs, as companies, often with net cash balances, take advantage of a depressed market to pick up cheap stock.
HONG KONG (Dow Jones Investment Banker) – What a difference a year makes. In 2010, there was a bumper harvest for new equity issues. That’s not so in Asia this year.
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.