Bigger floats founder over market fears
Haitong Securities, China's second-largest brokerage by assets, has pulled its up to HK$13 billion Hong Kong stock offering because of poor market conditions, a spokeswoman said yesterday.
At the same time, China Tianrui Group Cement, which was expected to reveal its listing deal yesterday, postponed the announcement.
But while some companies were cautious, a number of smaller listings moved forward. The slimming parlour chain Perfect Shape (PRC), Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy, and China Weaving Materials launched their public offerings yesterday to raise a combined total capital of nearly HK$2.7 billion.
OTO Holdings, a local developer and health product retailer, which will start trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange today, drew a strong market reaction. Its local offering was oversubscribed 243 times and its shares were priced at HK$1.58, the high end of its range.
Sources said Haitong Securities pulled its listing plan after investors slashed their valuations for the brokerage firm when US stock markets tumbled last Thursday.
'Investors later decided the pricing was too high in comparison to its competitors,' a person directly involved in the transaction said.
Citic Securities, China's biggest broker and underwriter, dropped 10 per cent on its first trading day after setting its price at HK$13.30 in October, the lower end of its float range. Its shares fell 4.31 per cent to close at HK$13.32 yesterday, after peaking at HK$17.14 in November.
Haitong aimed at selling 1.23 billion new shares at between HK$9.38 and HK$10.58 each.
Another source close to the firm said the management feared a lower-than-expected valuation would affect its share price on the Shanghai stock market. The firm decided to postpone the listing to next year.
Its Shanghai-listed shares dropped 0.6 per cent to close at 8.26 yuan yesterday. While the market expected the firm to renew its attempt by the first quarter of next year, a third source said Haitong had no deadline and could wait until market conditions improved.
China Tianrui Group Cement, the largest cement producer in Henan and Liaoning, which planned to raise up to US$300 million, also postponed its listing announcement. Market sources said the company had second thoughts as demand was weak. However, late last night the management decided to go ahead with the listing and an announcement will be made today.
Beijing Jingneng, a Shanghai-listed coal-fired power generator and district heating supplier, which postponed its listing plan in late June, issued 1.14 million shares at a price range of between HK$1.59 and HK$1.75 yesterday in the hope of raising HK$1.99 billion. According to its prospectus, half of the funds raised will be used for the construction of wind power and gas-fired power plants, while the remainder will be used to purchase equipment and repaying bank loans.
Perfect Shape issued 250 million shares yesterday, 90 per cent of which were offered globally at a price of between HK$1.35 and HK$1.80. At the median point of the range, the slimming chain could raise around HK$363 million. Its chairman and chief executive, Au-yeung Kong, said 70 per cent of the capital would be used for opening shops on the mainland, while the rest would be spent on brand promotion and improvements in computer systems.
The amount raised on the Hong Kong stock market by flotations between January 1 and last Friday, about 40 per cent down on 2010