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Chinese app raises US$1 billion in HK listing

According to a recent report, a Chinese medical tech platform has raised US$1.01 billion in its Hong Kong listing, sources told a major multination news reporting agency recently. This makes the platform one of this year’s last big deals in the Asian financial hub to end on a positive note.

The Shanghai-listed app priced its listing at HK$68 (US$8.71) per share, at the middle of an indicated range of HK$64.1-HK$71.5, said the sources, who are familiar with the matter.

It could raise up to US$1.16 billion if an over-allotment option is exercised within a month of the start of trading.

The platform could not be immediately reached for a comment, according to the report.

This listing should come as good news for Hong Kong where many firms have sunk below their IPO prices, while others have scaled back their targeted fundraising amid jittery markets.

Bankers have been hoping for the app and the Chinese tech giant’s music arm, which launched its hotly-anticipated U.S. initial public offering (IPO) of up to US$1.2 billion on Monday, to go well and help usher in 2019 on a positive note.

One source said that the platform could have priced higher – it was giving guidance of HK$70 on Thursday – but wanted to leave money on the table because of volatile markets this week.

Hong Kong is on track to become the world’s top IPO centre by volume this year, with US$33.2 billion raised so far, according to data provided by a global provider of financial markets data and infrastructure. However, concerns over a China-U.S. trade war and slowing growth in the world’s No.2 economy continue to be a drag.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index is down more than 12 per cent this year.

The Shanghai-based platform describes itself as the largest pharmaceutical R&D services platform in Asia by revenue. The company had revenues of 4.41 billion yuan ($641 million) in the first half of this year, versus 3.67 billion yuan in the same period last year, according to its listing prospectus. Its profits jumped 67 per cent to 1.3 billion yuan in the first half.

The company intends to use the proceeds from the listing to expand capacity across its units globally, invest in seven China projects such as a Chengdu R&D campus and set up a bioanalytical laboratory in San Diego, California, the prospectus says.

It also intends to fund the acquisition of contract research organisation companies.

The platform’s shares will begin trading in Hong Kong on 13 December 2018.  A major US bank and two other global investment powerhouses and banks are sponsoring the listing.

As reported earlier by OpenGov Asia, recently, another major tech player – a cryptocurrency giant – chose Hong Kong to make it’s IPO.

The reason is that, in April 2018, the Hong Kong bourse changed its rules to allow some companies with two classes of shares to list, in a bid to lure listings from large innovative companies.

This has proved to be rather ingenious as it has led to the boom of IPOs being offered on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange recently.

According to another report, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has become a hot spot for attracting the initial public offerings of some of the largest companies in the world.

According to the director at a firm which conducts financial markets research, Hong Kong is perfectly positioned to provide effectively an access point to one of the fastest growing regions of the world. It was also noted that Hong Kong has a developed economy and financial market, and provides international investors with a link to mainland Chinese markets through the “stock connect” program.

Thus, it is expected that the region will become the world’s top IPO centre by the end of this year.A


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