Hang Seng Index

Chow Tai Fook loses some lustre in HK listing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 December, 2011, 12:00am


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All that is gold does not necessarily glitter.

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery's mega initial public offering lost some of its shine among investors yesterday, with shares priced at HK$15 each, at the bottom of its price range, Reuters reported.

The gold and diamond jewellery retailer, controlled by New World Development chairman Cheng Yu-tung's family, will have to settle for raising HK$15.75 billion.

That compares with the maximum HK$22.05 billion the firm was seeking had it been able to price its 1.05 billion shares on offer at a top-of-the-range HK$21 apiece.

The firm will also have to settle for the No3 slot on the list of Hong Kong's biggest listings this year, having priced itself almost HK$1 billion shy of the HK$16.72 billion that luxury fashion house Prada raised in its June flotation, and just behind the listing of Shanghai Pharmaceuticals in May.

Chow Tai Fook appears to be the latest victim of weakening demand for new offerings, as the euro-zone debt crisis and China's cooling economy continue to worry markets and leave investors with burnt fingers. Two other flotations this week were also priced at the low end.

New China Life Insurance, the mainland's third biggest life insurer, raised around HK$14.7 billion on Thursday in a dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai, pricing the larger Hong Kong portion of the deal at HK$28.50 per share, compared with a price range of HK$28.20 to HK$34.33 apiece.

Baoxin Auto, a mainland dealer for BMW and Jaguar Land Rover, raised HK$3.22 billion in its Hong Kong listing on Thursday, pricing the shares at HK$8.50 each, at the bottom of its price range. The share offerings are coming to market at a time when trading remains volatile and investors are worried about the global economic outlook.

The Hang Seng Index fell 2.73 per cent yesterday amid market uncertainty ahead of the second day of a two-day summit of European Union leaders. The index shed 521.58 points to close at 18,578.23 points, down 2.4 per cent for the week.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell a steeper 3.16 per cent yesterday after Beijing released a slew of economic data suggesting that China's growth is continuing to slow.

The figures point to inflation at a 13-month low, and industrial production growing at the slowest rate since August 2009.

Many investors have cashed out to the sidelines amid the economic headwinds in China and abroad.

Yesterday's total main board turnover of HK$54.61 billion marked the sixth straight session where trading volumes were weaker than the six-month average of HK$68.98 billion. The blue chip index closed yesterday only 200 points below the three-week high it hit on Wednesday. But trading is likely to remain choppy in the coming sessions.

The Hang Seng Volatility Index surged 8.6 per cent yesterday to 32.26 points - the first time it ended above 30 points in nine trading sessions.


Hong Kong-listed blue chips have lost this percentage of their value so far this year