Hong Kong steals IPO crown from New York

Sit down, New York. Hong Kong is now the IPO king.

The long line of Chinese banks and financial firms deciding to go public helped Hong Kong this year knock New York off its pedestal to become the world’s biggest market for initial public offerings.

crown222Companies raised $25 billion via IPOs in Hong Kong so far this year, beating the $19.4 billion raised in New York, preliminary data from Thomson Reuters data shows.

In an effort to finance their margin loan businesses and boost core capital amid the stock market rally in the beginning of the year, many Chinese brokers and banks rushed to issue to stock.  Big Hong Kong IPOs in 2015 included the $4.8 billion deal by Guotai Junan Securities and a $2.5 billion capital raising by China Huarong Asset Management, said Reuters.

Last year, New York’s IPO market surged to $71.7 billion, helped in part by Alibaba Group Holding’s record $25 billion deal. But after being the world’s biggest IPO market for the past three years, this year it’s IPO proceeds plunged 73%.

Even though the funds raised in Hong Kong fell 13% from last year, the city accounted for more than a third of the total amount for the entire Asia Pacific region, according to the data.

Overall, investment banks in Asia earned an estimated $5.74 billion in fees from equity capital markets deals in 2015, with IPOs making up 36% of the total, said Reuters, a larger share than the 20% of bank revenue in the United States.

Industry insiders said they expect more Chinese companies to launch IPOs next year, especially from the financial sector.

Companies expected to issue IPOs next year include state-backed Postal Savings Bank of China, which recently completed a $7 billion pre-IPO financing round, Chinese online lending platform Lufax, backed by China’s second largest insurer Ping An Insurance Group and Sinopec Sales, the marketing arm of China Petroleum and Chemicals Corp (Sinopec).

“The financial services sector will still be one of the key drivers, because the size of those deals are much larger than in consumer and manufacturing,” Louis Lau, partner at the Capital Markets Advisory Group at KPMG China told Reuters.



Categories: Asia Unhedged, China

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