City retains its allure

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 July, 2011, 12:00am


One of the major pointers of an economic and corporate sector recovery is the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) on the market.

Hong Kong's stock market has seen a steady stream of IPOs, mainly from mainland companies keen to list.

Though some have postponed their launches due to unfavourable market sentiment a number are going ahead with their plans.

A study by accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) suggests there will be 110 IPOs this year, with a total estimated value of HK$380 billion. This high number should cement Hong Kong's position as one of the top ranking listing destinations in the world.

According to PwC, the total number of IPOs in the first half of this year was 48, compared to 31 in the same period last year.

Along with the increasing number of foreign listings during the first six months of the year, there has been a 264 per cent increase from last year by fund-raising size, with a value of HK$183.7 billion.

According to the accounting 'big four' firms the sectors that did well in the previous half were retail, consumer goods and services and industrial products.

These sectors dominated the main board listings with 51 per cent.

Financial services firms had a 12 per cent share of listings on the main board and information technology and telecommunications had 5 per cent of the main board listings.

'As predicted in our forecast in January this year, retail, consumer goods and services sectors, as well as industrial products, will continue to be the key listing drivers in 2011,' says Benson Wong, assurance practice partner of PwC.

'In addition, we expect to see more overseas companies listing in Hong Kong as foreign companies remain keen to expand their presence in the east especially mainland China.'

Edmond Chan, partner at PwC Capital Market Services Group, says global investors remain entranced by the potential scale of the growing Chinese consumer market, therefore, the number of new listings from the consumer goods and services industry will continue to be highest among various industry sectors.

Although the capital markets environment has been volatile in the first half of this year, that did not prevent the listing of some high profile overseas brands, which have highlighted the strong interest foreign companies continue to show about listing in Hong Kong, PwC says.