Lai See

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 December, 2009, 12:00am


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Mobi dives on debut, like 13 other IPOs now underwater

Some bankers believe the perfect initial public offering is one that brings in a 10 per cent return on the first day - keeping subscribers happy and at the same time convincing issuers that it is not being undersold.

By this benchmark, yesterday's debut by Mobi Development was the opposite of perfect - it ended the day nearly 10 per cent down at HK$3.05, despite having risen nearly 18 per cent to HK$3.98 at the start.

If Mobi stays underwater, it will join the unlucky 13 newly listed companies that have fallen below their issue price this year.

On the positive side, of the previous 46 listings in Hong Kong this year, 33 are trading above their offering price, producing an average return of 20 per cent.

Five of them have more than doubled in price - commercial printer CT Holdings (International) (260 per cent), solar energy product manufacturer China Singyes Solar Technologies Holdings (235 per cent), dried cassava chip distributor Asia Cassava Resources Holdings (136 per cent), shampoo maker Bawang International (Group) Holding (131 per cent) and air-conditioner maker Chigo Holding (124 per cent).

Of the 13 fallen angels, the worst three performers are fitting-out contractor Sundart International Holdings (36 per cent), mainland developer China South City Holdings (34 per cent) and mining equipment provider Metallurgical Corp of China (29 per cent).

The initial share sales have raised a record HK$571 billion, up 8.6 per cent from the previous record of HK$526 billion in 2007.

Investors like look of director

You look like a million dollars - or, in Andrew Look's case, HK$100 million.

That was how much Ka Shui International Holdings gained in value after the former UBS star analyst was appointed an independent non-executive director of the home appliance component maker on Wednesday. Its shares shot up as much as 40 per cent yesterday before closing with a 27.5 per cent gain at 58 HK cents.

Look should also be feeling a bit richer, as he owns seven million shares in the firm. However, his Midas touch does not always work, like some of his previous stock market tips, although they were regarded as some of the best in town.

In June, Look paid HK$45 million to become the single largest shareholder - with about 13 per cent - in Opes Asia, which hired him as an investment adviser. Six months later, Opes had fallen about a third below his average cost of 27 HK cents.

Geely options pay off

Christmas has come early for Geely Automobile Holdings director Lawrence Ang Siu-lun. This week he cashed out HK$17.6 million by selling four million shares at between HK$4.36 and HK$4.43 each.

That was a neat eight-digit profit for exercising his six million options at 92 HK cents. Shares of Geely are up about 570 per cent this year.

Something to sing about

Talk about singing for your supper. Morgan Stanley created 18 new managing directors yesterday morning, then promptly told them they would be expected to perform in the 'Morgan Stanley Directors Choir' after work.

But it was all in a good cause, singing carols at the firm's West Kowloon headquarters to raise money for Operation Santa Claus.

The promotions obviously paid off, as the choir raised a record HK$1.9 million. We were told the singing was louder this year, which may have also had something to do with Morgan Stanley being voted investment bank of the year by two financial publications.

Checking out

Chequebooks are being consigned to the history books. Britain announced yesterday that the 350-year-old method of payment was to be abolished.

Automated teller machines and debit cards, plus telephone and internet banking and chip-and-PIN, are making cheques obsolete. More than 27.5 million people in Britain now bank online or by telephone.

Bank customers have until October 2018 to use up their dog-eared chequebooks.

It is exactly 350 years since Nicholas Vanacker signed his name to a piece of paper and made GBP400 payable to a Mr Delboe. According to the Times, the honour of the most bizarre cheque ever written probably goes to A.P. Herbert, the prolific humourist, journalist, novelist and MP. In 1970, to celebrate 60 years of writing for Punch magazine, he acted out one of his own fictitious legal cases, 'The Negotiable Cow', by writing out a cheque on the flank of a Golden Guernsey named Elba, walking it to the bank and cashing it.