Trade in HSBC rights is light on last day

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 April, 2009, 12:00am

Trade in rights to purchase discounted HSBC shares was relatively light yesterday - the final day on which investors could buy and sell them.

The rights closed up 0.55 per cent at HK$14.50. Each right allows an investor to buy an HSBC share for HK$28. Shares in the bank closed down 5 HK cents, at HK$42.65.

HSBC announced last month it would issue five shares for every 12 held, in order to add US$17.7 billion to its balance sheet. Shareholders had until yesterday to decide whether to take up the shares or to sell their rights and see their holding diluted. The rights have been tradable since Monday last week. More than 210 million rights were traded in a single day, but yesterday only 19.6 million changed hands.

'Those unwilling to subscribe to the rights already sold last week,' said Castor Pang Wai-sun, a strategist at Sun Hung Kai Financial.

Steven Leung, a director of institutional sales at UOB Kay Hian, said long-term retail investors in HSBC were likely to stick with the bank.

Since trading in the rights began in Hong Kong, 607.7 million have changed hands, representing 12 per cent of the global trade in rights.