The biggest public float this year has made an unimpressive debut in Hong Kong, underlining investor caution towards initial public offerings even though global equity markets have recovered from early-year plunges.
China Zheshang Bank closed unchanged at HK$3.96 yesterday, having dropped as much as 0.8 per cent to HK$3.94. The regional lender raised $1.7bn last week after pricing at the lower end of the marketed range.
Bank of Tianjin, another mainland regional bank, also debuted, and finished the day flat at HK$7.3, after raising $948m — at the lower end of its range.
The listings are rare successes in the slowest start for listings worldwide since the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2009. So far in 2016 just $13.4bn has been raised globally, according to Dealogic — a third of the amount raised by this time last year.
Markets globally suffered their weakest start to a year as the low oil price and worries about China’s slowing economy boosted haven assets, including the Japanese yen and gold, and sent riskier investments, such as stocks, plunging.
The S&P 500 stands 0.5 per cent higher for the year, having regained all of the 11 per cent it fell in January.
European and Chinese bourses are taking longer to recover, however. The blue-chip FTSE Eurofirst 300 is down 8 per cent for the year, though well off early-year losses of 18 per cent.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises index, a closely followed grouping of Hong Kong-listed mainland stocks, initially fell 22 per cent but has recovered to stand 8 per cent lower. However, its level yesterday of 8,895 leaves it short of the 10,000 mark bankers use as a rule of thumb for the return of risk appetite.
Hong Kong leads the global IPO rankings with $3.5bn in the year to date, but it has suffered a pulled listing — its first in almost two years.
London is second, having raised $1.8bn, and Nasdaq third with $1.3bn. The main board of the New York Stock Exchange has not had a listing this year — its longest drought since the period after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.
Bankers cautioned against expecting much of a pick-up after the two Hong Kong listings. Both banks allotted more than half their offerings to cornerstone investors, which accept six-month lock-ups in return for large allocations.
The sector also tends to rely on mainland investment.
另一家内地的地方银行天津银行(Bank of Tianjin)昨日也投入首日交易，以7.3港元报收，当日持平。该行也将发行价定在区间底端，筹得9.48亿美元。
然而，欧洲和中国股市恢复元气的速度更慢。由欧洲蓝筹股组成的富时Eurofirst 300(FTSE Eurofirst 300)股指今年迄今下跌8%，尽管相比今年早些时候18%的跌幅已经好了不少。
由一组在港上市的内地股票组成的受到密切关注的恒生中国企业指数(Hang Seng China Enterprises index)今年曾下跌22%，但已经恢复到今年迄今下跌8%。然而，其昨日所处的8895点水平，仍低于被银行家们视为风险偏好回归经验门槛的10000点。