Chinese school operator jumps 69 per cent in Hong Kong market debut, while Alibaba Health gains

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2018, 2:51pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2018, 11:56pm

Shares of China 21st Century Education Group, whose range of services go from preschools to vocational colleges, jumped 69 per cent on their debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange, pulling up the stocks of other education providers.

Shares of the company, based in Shijiazhuang of Hebei province, jumped to an intraday high of HK$1.91, compared with their IPO price of HK$1.13, when they were traded for the first time in Hong Kong.

The company picked a good time for its initial public offering, as the end of China’s official birth limit triggered a rally among the country’s publicly listed education providers. Several other Chinese education providers rose in tandem. China New Higher Education Group rose as much as 2.6 per cent to HK$7.90 while Wisdom Education International Holding rose as much as 2 per cent, and China Yuhua Education rose as much as 2 per cent. Dadi Education Holdings jumped by up to 12.7 per cent to HK$0.445.

Shares of Alibaba Health Information Technology also surged after the company issued shares to absorb the Ali JK Medical Products unit from its parent Alibaba Group. Ali JK’s businesses include an online Tmall pharmacy used by 3,300 merchants, where adult products such as condoms, medical devices and health care products that reported 20.6 billion yuan (US$3.2 billion) in total gross merchandise value in the year ended March.

Alibaba Health, which paid HK$10.6 billion for Ali JK, rose as much as 11.5 per cent to a three-day intraday high of HK$7.55 in Hong Kong. The stock, a unit of this newspaper’s owner Alibaba, has risen 80 per cent so far this month.

Upon completion of the transaction, Alibaba Group will increase its stake in Alibaba Health to 56.2 per cent from 48.1 per cent, while its voting rights will rise to 67.5 per cent from 61.5 per cent.

“It (the transaction) will allow us to expand our business by adding more complementary categories and enabling us to have deeper engagement with more participants,” said Alibaba Health’s CEO Leo Shen Difan.

Alibaba Health had earlier this month had said its annual loss narrowed nearly 49 per cent to 107 million yuan for the year ended 31 March from 208 million yuan last year.

According to Frost & Sullivan, China’s overall health expenditure is expected to increase to 11.24 trillion yuan by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 9.4 per cent, from 4.6 yuan in 2016.

Shares of other Alibaba units and affiliates also rose. Alibaba Pictures climbed 4.7 per cent to HK$1.11. Yunfeng Financial Group, a securities firm co-founded by Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma, added 0.2 per cent to HK$5.15.