China Cinda finds favour with investors

Manager of bad assets prices shares at top end while Qinhuangdao Port goes for bottom figure

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 December, 2013, 5:09am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 December, 2013, 5:09am

China Cinda Asset Management, the first mainland bad-asset manager to list in Hong Kong, has priced its shares at the top end of its marketing range.

The Beijing-based firm yesterday set a price of HK$3.58 for its shares after substantial institutional and retail interest in its anti-cyclical investment story of growing bad debt in a slowing economy.

This means the company will raise HK$19 billion.

Meanwhile, Qinhuangdao Port, the operator of the world's largest coal port, priced its shares at the bottom of its marketing range at HK$5.25.

This was despite ample support from state-owned peers, including Hong Kong-listed China Communications Construction, which pledged to commit US$240 million or 43 per cent of the entire deal.

Investment banks are keen to take companies public before the end of the year after experiencing a drought of new listings earlier in the year. They are also keen to move before the United States Federal Reserve begins to taper quantitative easing, with resulting interest rate increases expected to affect investor sentiment.

Joining the listing rush, China Everbright Bank has set an indicative price range of between HK$3.86 and HK$4.30 a share, representing a price-book value of up to one times forecast asset value for this year. The valuation of its planned Hong Kong stocks is offered at a slight premium to its Shanghai-traded shares.

The capital-strapped medium-sized lender is planning to raise US$2.5 billion by issuing 5 billion shares after securing 10 cornerstone investors who committed about US$1.4 billion. It had originally planned to raise about US$1.8 billion.

Fund mangers said the listing market this year had tended to favour small-cap stocks, with investors expecting to find more champions in the private sector.

Keith Wade, the chief economist and strategist at Schroders, said the stock-picking process had been focused on the mainland's private sector after moves by Beijing to ease state monopolies in a few sectors.

The shares of two newly listed companies - Spring Real Estate Investment Trust, a private-equity-backed trust listing of Beijing commercial buildings, and China MeiDong Auto, a Guangdong-based car dealer - dropped on their first day of trading yesterday.

Spring Reit's shares plunged 16 per cent to HK$3.20, while shares of MeiDong fell 4.4 per cent to HK$1.72.

Apart from the sizeable deals, econtext Asia, a Japanese online payment provider looking to raise as much as HK$449 million, has set an indicative price range of between HK$2.96 and HK$3.59 for its shares.