【英语财经】阿里、京东IPO挑战美国股市胃口 China IPO feast arrives as US loses its appetite

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2014-5-16 16:30

小艾摘要: When you have lost your appetite, the last thing you need is a feast. But US investors will have to decide whether to nibble on the upcoming Chinese tech flotations or wait for the bumper main course ...
China IPO feast arrives as US loses its appetite
When you have lost your appetite, the last thing you need is a feast. But US investors will have to decide whether to nibble on the upcoming Chinese tech flotations or wait for the bumper main course –Alibaba.

About half a dozen Chinese companies hope to list in the US during the next few months, but markets are already proving tough. Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblog, was forced to cut the size of its Nasdaq deal last month. Weibo’s parent company, Sina, has seen its share price sink 42 per cent this year.

Others have also felt the pain. Search engine Baidu is down more than 10 per cent and Sohu is off a quarter, while online video site Youku Tudou has lost almost a third.

The stumble has not been unique to US-listed Chinese companies. Hong Kong-listed Tencent has had $20bn wiped off its market capitalisation since March. Software maker Kingsoft is down more than 20 per cent in the past month, while online gaming company Forgame has dropped 27 per cent.

With stocks so beaten up, those wanting to buy into China’s internet story will find plenty of items already on sale.

Now listing candidates have another thing to worry about – the $120bn behemoth that is the Alibaba IPO. Though details of the float remain vague, the deal is almost certain to break records.

At the lower end of expectations, Alibaba will raise a similar amount to Facebook’s $16bn. With a top estimate of $25bn, the ecommerce company could take the crown for biggest deal in history, bettering champion Agricultural Bank of China.

Some say the pending mammoth offering could cause pre-emptive indigestion, especially for smaller Chinese internet companies looking to do deals.

“From now until Alibaba gets done, I think it’ll be hard for a lot of companies to get mindshare, particularly the smaller ones,” says one tech sector banker. “Investors are generally on strike.”

Other than Alibaba, the biggest IPO in the pipeline is that of rival JD.com, which is looking to raise up to $1.7bn. That in itself would set a record for a Chinese deal in the US. It has so far drawn strong demand from US-based investors, who put in enough orders to cover the books before the roadshow even started.

Online cosmetics retailer Jumei is also on the road seeking to sell a $200m offering, while job-hunting site Zhaopin last week filed to raise $100m.

But some warn that the going could get tougher as the Alibaba deal gets closer.

“For the little companies, people have to take a hard look because we are at the tail-end of the IPO window. These companies do not have the same pedigree as?.?.?.?Alibaba and JD.com, which are big marquee names,” says Bill Kornitzer, portfolio manager of the Buffalo International fund.

However, there could be a silver lining to the Alibaba listing, even for the smaller players wanting to float. While unknown Chinese internet companies may have struggled in the past to convince investors to meet them, increased curiosity about the sector is likely to open many doors, says one banker.

With many US-based funds having already built exposure to Alibaba through buying shares in Yahoo or SoftBank, there may also be a desire to diversify into other companies.

The experiences of the past two US debuts offer a mixed picture. Cheetah Mobile, an internet security unit spun out from Kingsoft, rose in its first day of trading on the NYSE last week but has since fallen below its offer price.

Tuniu, a travel website, has had a better ride following its $72m raising. It jumped 12 per cent on its first day of trading and has run even higher since.

“Two days before we finished our roadshow, we saw Alibaba come and a correction in US stocks, especially Chinese-related stocks,” says Conor Yang, chief financial officer at Tuniu. “We did have some accounts adjust down their price of purchase or some accounts that cut back on orders.” However, investors ultimately “looked at the long term”, he adds, as they bid the stock up.

Weibo has also enjoyed a switch in sentiment, with its stock trading up 15 per cent since its debut.

Due to its size, the impact of Alibaba’s listing is more likely to be felt by similar-sized global internet stocks, says Josh Spencer, a portfolio manager at T Rowe Price.

“If it is going to be in someone’s benchmark, then you are worrying about allocation for Google and Amazon, not niche IPOs.”

当你没有胃口时,最不需要的就是一顿大餐。但美国投资者将不得不做出决定:是用即将上市的中国科技企业先垫垫肚子,还是等着丰盛的主餐——阿里巴巴(Alibaba)。

大约有6家中国企业希望未来半年内在美上市,但事实证明,市场已相当艰难。中国版Twitter——新浪微博(Weibo)上月被迫缩减其在纳斯达克(Nasdaq)上市的融资规模。新浪微博的母公司新浪(Sina)股价今年已累计下跌42%。

其他企业也感受到了痛楚。搜索引擎百度(Baidu)股价已下跌逾10%,搜狐(Sohu)股价跌去四分之一,在线视频网站优酷土豆(Youku Tudou)股价下挫近三分之一。

股价下挫的并非只有在美上市的中国企业。自今年3月以来,在香港上市的腾讯(Tencent)的市值已被抹去200亿美元。过去一个月,软件生产商金山软件(Kingsoft)市值损失逾20%,在线游戏公司云游(Forgame)股价已下挫27%。

股价下跌得如此厉害,那些想要买入中国互联网股票的投资者会发现,已经有许多便宜股票可以入手了。

如今,准备上市的企业还有一件事需要担心:估值为1200亿美元的巨擘阿里巴巴的首次公开发行(IPO)。尽管上市细节仍不确定,但此次IPO几乎肯定会打破历史纪录。

即便是在市场预期区间的低端,阿里巴巴的融资规模将接近Facebook的160亿美元。而市场预期的最高值为250亿美元,这将使该电子商务公司有望取代中国农业银行(Agricultural Bank of China),夺取历史最大IPO桂冠。

一些人表示,阿里巴巴即将启动的超大规模上市,可能会导致市场消化能力先行减弱,特别是对于中国那些规模较小的准备上市的互联网企业而言。

“从现在开始到阿里巴巴完成上市,我认为,对于很多希望获得投资者关注的公司而言,市场将变得很艰难,特别是规模较小的公司,”一位科技业银行家表示,“投资者普遍在‘罢工’。”

除阿里巴巴以外,即将到来的中国企业最大IPO是阿里巴巴的竞争对手京东(JD.com),京东希望最多筹资17亿美元。这将创下中国企业在美上市的纪录。到目前为止,该公司吸引了美国投资者的强劲需求,甚至在京东开始路演之前,投资者的认购量就达到了发行量。

在线化妆品零售商聚美优品(Jumei)也准备上市,拟融资2亿美元,而招聘网站智联招聘(Zhaopin)上周也递交上市申请,拟融资1亿美元。

但一些人警告称,随着阿里巴巴上市日期的临近,形势可能会变得更为艰难。

“人们对小公司冷眼相待,因为它们处于IPO队伍的尾部。这些公司没有阿里巴巴和京东等大牌企业的高贵血统,”Buffalo International基金投资组合经理比尔?科尔尼采尔(Bill Kornitzer)表示。

但对于意图上市的较小公司来说,阿里巴巴上市也可能为它们带来一丝希望。一名银行家表示,虽然名不见经传的中国互联网企业过去可能难以说服投资者与它们见面,但外界对该行业的好奇心与日俱增,可能将带来许多机会。

由于许多美国基金已经通过购买雅虎(Yahoo)或软银(SoftBank)的股票间接持仓阿里巴巴,因此它们可能也希望分散投资到其他公司。

最近两家在美上市的中国公司喜忧参半。上周,从金山软件剥离上市的互联网安全公司猎豹移动(Cheetah Mobile)在纽交所(NYSE)上市头天股价上涨,但之后已跌破发行价。

在上市募资7200万美元后,旅游网站途牛(Tuniu)的股价表现相对较好,首日大涨12%,之后创下新高。

“路演结束两天前,我们看到了阿里巴巴准备上市的消息和美国股市回调,中国相关股回调尤其严重,”途牛首席财务官杨嘉宏(Conor Yang)表示,“确实有一些客户下调了买价,一些客户减少了认购量。”但他补充称,投资者最终“放眼长远”,推高了股价。

新浪微博也受益于市场情绪的转好,其股价自上市以来已经上涨15%。

普信集团(T Rowe Price)投资组合经理乔希?斯宾塞(Josh Spencer)表示,由于规模较大,阿里巴巴上市更有可能影响市值相仿的跨国互联网公司股票。

“如果投资者将阿里巴巴纳入投资组合,那么需要担心的是谷歌(Google)和亚马逊(Amazon)的配置,而不是小公司的IPO。”

译者/何黎

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