IPOs in Asia Face Headwinds After Record Year of Fundraising

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Author of the article:

Bloomberg News

Filipe Pacheco, Julia Fioretti and Pei Li


Publishing date:

Dec 18, 2021  •  35 minutes in the past  •  3 minute learn  • 

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(Bloomberg) — After a bumper 12 months of inventory listings, Asian corporations could discover it arduous to repeat the success in 2022 given the prospect of rising rates of interest and China’s tightening grip on Big Tech.

Thanks to a blistering first half amid a world growth, preliminary public choices in the area have reached $190 billion thus far this 12 months, already a document and up 31% from the entire of 2020. But the momentum has weakened notably in latest months as Beijing escalated a regulatory assault on non-public enterprise, placing main offers on maintain and injecting uncertainties into subsequent 12 months. 


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Bankers say they count on Asia’s IPO market to be much less frenzied and extra balanced in 2022, as larger inflation erodes valuations of tech companies and tighter U.S. financial coverage reduces the provision of idle money. The listings panorama can also look extra numerous, with South Korea and India charging forward and industries from clear vitality to monetary companies filling the void left by once-dominant Chinese tech. 

“Markets in 2022 are going to face a more normalized environment,” mentioned William Smiley, co-head of fairness capital markets at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in Asia ex-Japan. “Withdrawal of fiscal and monetary stimulus, coupled with expectations for higher inflation may challenge risk assets, including equity markets.” 

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Beijing’s tight scrutiny of its tech companies, on points starting from information safety to a loophole lengthy utilized by corporations to checklist abroad, additionally is anticipated to proceed to gradual the tempo of fundraising from the sector. 

This, plus the secondary market’s sluggish efficiency, have pushed Hong Kong, a well-liked vacation spot for Chinese tech companies, out of the world’s prime three itemizing venues. Several corporations, from snack producer Weilong Delicious Global Holdings Ltd. to Apple Inc.’s provider Biel Crystal Manufactory Ltd., have pushed again share choices in the town, a improvement set to make the final three months of this 12 months the weakest fourth quarter since 2018 for Asian IPOs.

‘Diverting From China’

Picking up the slack could possibly be Chinese companies not affected by Beijing’s regulatory clampdown or beneficiaries of the nation’s improvement priorities, together with new vitality suppliers and electrical car makers.

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The new 12 months ought to see a extra assorted group of corporations coming to the market, mentioned Magnus Andersson, co-head of fairness capital markets for Asia Pacific at Morgan Stanley. “It’s not only consumer, internet and tech, it’s also more industrials and financial institutions.”

Candidates embody startup Hozon New Energy Automobile Co. and the property administration enterprise of developer Longfor Group Holdings Ltd., Bloomberg has reported earlier.

The subdued presence of Chinese tech will even assist make the area’s IPO pipeline geographically extra balanced, as South Korea, India and Southeast Asia preserve a busy issuance calendar. 

Companies in India, South Korea and Indonesia have all raised document quantities through first-time share gross sales this 12 months. And there’s extra to come back: Mega offers in the works embody LG Energy Solution’s $10.8 billion IPO in Seoul and Life Insurance Corp. of India’s Mumbai providing with a valuation as excessive as $131 billion.

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Some of Southeast Asia’s greatest tech unicorns are also anticipated to drift shares subsequent 12 months, mentioned Selina Cheung, co-head of fairness capital markets, Asia at UBS Group AG. “Now it’s the right time as investors’ attention is diverting from China, at least over the short-term.”

Homecoming IPOs

Despite expectations for weaker provide from Chinese tech companies as first-time share sellers, an elevated quantity of their U.S.-traded friends will probably search listings in Hong Kong or Shanghai, a phenomenon often known as ‘homecoming’.

A number of distinguished names which have listed in the Asian monetary hub in latest years embody Weibo Corp., Baidu Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The pattern is anticipated to speed up amid rising threats from the U.S. to delist Chinese companies there.

Already in the queue for such listings in Hong Kong are ride-hailing big Didi Global Inc. and streaming video website IQiyi Inc., whereas Futu Holdings Ltd., Tencent Music Entertainment Group and Pinduoduo Inc. are additionally probably candidates.

Once Beijing’s regulatory image clears up, “issuance will rebound,” mentioned Goldman’s Smiley. “Positioning is light and China is under-owned.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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