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Continued IPO boom underpins Hong Kong’s financial strength despite global volatility

Abstract : With the debut of Baidu Inc. on Tuesday, Hong Kong's fund-raising market has appeared to maintain its momentum over recent months and will likely climb to a new height this year, further proof of the strength of the financial hub despite global volatility.

People wearing masks enjoy the view of Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, China, Jan. 15, 2021. (Xinhua/Lo Ping Fai)

Hong
Kong has become the world’s second-largest fund-raising market only
after Nasdaq. Altogether 154 businesses listed in Hong Kong last year
with a combined fund-raising of 397.5 billion HKD, the highest since
2010.

HONG
KONG, March 23 (Xinhua) — With the debut of Baidu Inc. on Tuesday,
Hong Kong’s fund-raising market has appeared to maintain its momentum
over recent months and will likely climb to a new height this year,
further proof of the strength of the financial hub despite global
volatility.

The
mainland search engine company started trading on Hong Kong market
Tuesday in an initial public offering (IPO) worth 23.68 billion Hong
Kong dollars (about 3 billion U.S. dollars). The proceeds will be used
for investment in technology and its mobile ecosystem, among others,
according to its prospectus.

Baidu,
first going public in Nasdaq in 2005, came as the latest U.S.-listed
mainland business to complete a secondary listing here, adding to
evidence that Hong Kong’s IPO boom since 2020 has continued.

Altogether
154 businesses listed in Hong Kong last year with combined fund-raising
of 397.5 billion Hong Kong dollars, the highest since 2010, making Hong
Kong the world’s second-largest fund-raising market only after Nasdaq.

A digital billboard shows the stock information of Kuaishou Technology in Hong Kong, China, Feb. 5, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)

The trend has continued this year. In the first two months of 2021, 21 businesses debut on Hong Kong market.

The
public offering of video-sharing app Kuaishou Technology, which started
trading in early February, was oversubscribed more than 1,200 times by
local retail investors, locking up a record amount of capital of more
than 1.2 trillion Hong Kong dollars.

“As
many widely-watched businesses keep coming to Hong Kong, in particular
those in the new economy that are highly attractive to various types of
investors, there has been more and more energy brought to the capital
market here,” Wang Lei, chief executive of Huatai Financial Holdings
(Hong Kong) Ltd., said.

Mainland businesses and capital played a major role in driving Hong Kong’s fervent IPO deals.

In
2020, more than 70 percent of listings were made by mainland companies,
and the southbound capital reached a record high of 670 billion Hong
Kong dollars, exceeding the previous three years combined. On Jan. 19,
2021, the capital inflow recorded 26.6 billion Hong Kong dollars, the
highest for a single trading day.

A
digital billboard is seen at the trading hall of Hong Kong Exchanges
and Clearing Limited (HKEX) in Hong Kong, China, Feb. 5, 2021.
(Xinhua/Wang Shen)

“The
strong performance in the securities market and continued inflow of
capital are testimony to the fact that the city’s competitiveness and
resilience in the financial markets has only gone from strength to
strength,” said Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and
Treasury of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)
government.

Analysts
predict that Hong Kong’s IPO market will remain strong in the rest of
the year driven by new economy upstarts and U.S.-listed mainland
businesses.

Deloitte
China forecast that IPOs will top 400 billion Hong Kong dollars this
year and there will be some 130 new listings, and auditor
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) believes that the financial hub will
hopefully once again become the largest IPO fund-raising center
globally.

Looking
at the big picture, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority
Eddie Yue pointed out that Hong Kong’s financial sector will embrace
more opportunities from the deepening reform and opening-up of the
country in the future.

Photo
taken on Oct. 24, 2019 shows a view of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao
Bridge from the “Ngong Ping 360” cable car in China’s Hong Kong.
(Xinhua/Cheong Kam Ka)

During
the just-concluded sessions of the national legislature and political
advisory body, China adopted the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan
(2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the
Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035. Improving financial
connectivity between the mainland and Hong Kong is included in the
document.

As
part of the effort to forge closer financial ties, the launch of two
landmark programs, namely the southbound trading of Bond Connect and the
wealth management connect in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay
Area, are under preparation, Yue said.

The
southbound Bond Connect will create a new channel for mainland
investors and attract more financial institutions to Hong Kong’s bond
market, he added.

Various
programs to improve mainland-Hong Kong financial integration will
bolster Hong Kong’s financial development, Hui said, stressing that Hong
Kong as one of the freest economies will continue to welcome businesses
and investors from all over the world. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.7654 HK
dollars)

About Xinhua Silk Road

Xinhua Silk Road (en.imsilkroad.com) is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) portal. China’s silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road website, include BRI Policy, BRI Trade, BRI Investment, Belt and Road weekly, Know Belt and Road, and the integrated information services for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Source: Continued IPO boom underpins Hong Kong’s financial strength despite global volatility

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