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September 30, 2009

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Hong Kong IPO market cooling

DAYS before the highly anticipated pricing for Wynn Macau's US$1.6 billion public offering, Hong Kong's soaring IPO market is sputtering, with sportswear company Peak Sport the latest weak debut.

Sources said the Wynn Macau deal, a spin-off of the Asian assets of United States casino operator Wynn Resorts, is several times covered, with one source saying the institutional portion was more than 10 times oversubscribed.

The public listing looks to have solid demand before its scheduled pricing tomorrow, though sources cautioned yesterday that the books had just closed and that pricing was still a day or two away.

If priced at the top of the price range of HK$8.52 to HK$10.08 per share, Wynn Macau will raise HK$12.6 billion (US$1.63 billion) in the fourth largest global IPO this year.

But the Hong Kong IPO market, which ripped out several billion-dollar offerings that met with heavy demand and strong debuts, is showing signs of cooling.

Investors, who are seeing roughly US$15 billion worth of IPOs hit the Hong Kong market over a three-month span, appear to be getting more selective.

"There are too many deals coming out at the same time," said Andrew Mantel, managing director of Pacific Sun Investment Management. "There's only so much to go around."

Peak Sport became the latest victim of cooling investor enthusiasm for Hong Kong offerings when its shares ended down 17 percent from their IPO price yesterday.


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