© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A barman stirs a cocktail based on the Chinese spirit baijiu at the Capital Spirits Baijiu Bar in Beijing, China June 22, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
By Scott Murdoch and Donny Kwok
(Reuters) -Chinese spirit maker ZJLD Group’s shares ended down 18% on their first day of trading on Thursday, dampening hopes that a positive debut for the largest new share sale in Hong Kong in 2023 could spark a rush of listings in the second half.
The KKR-backed company raised $675.2 million last week in the biggest new share sale in Hong Kong since CALB Group Co raised $1.3 billion in October.
Dealmakers had hoped a strong first day performance by ZJLD could give companies looking to list in Hong Kong confidence to press ahead with new deals and help revive the city’s weak IPO market.
ZJLD shares opened at HK$9 compared to the issue price of HK$10.82 each. The stock sank to a low of HK$8.82 in the afternoon before it ended at HK$8.88, still down 17.9% from the IPO price. That compared to a 0.4% gain in Hong Kong’s .
The IPO price was at the lower end of the HK$10.78 to HK$12.98 per share range indicated to investors when the deal was launched.
ZJLD produces baijiu, the clear distilled spirit popular across China. The drink is considered China’s national liquor and is the world’s most consumed liquor, according to ZJLD’s prospectus.
“The tepid listing would probably fail to lift the ECM (equity capital markets) sentiment in Hong Kong and deals in the second half would probably need to come in at a more digestible valuation to garner a successful listing,” said Clarence Chu, an Aequitas Research analyst who publishes on Smartkarma.
ZJLD’s three major baijiu rivals, led by Kweichow Moutai, have seen shares fall by between 7.6% and 22% since late January.
“The fall on debut is an adjustment of the relatively high pricing and is in line with the soft market,” said Linus Yip, chief strategist at First Shanghai Securities referring to the softer premium baijiu sector and broader Hong Kong market.
There was just $508.3 million worth of new share sales in Hong Kong in the first quarter, according to Refinitiv data, down from $1.2 billion in the same period last year.
Institutional investors subscribed for 3.9 times the amount of ZJLD shares on offer in that tranche, according to the firm’s filings, which was above many other Hong Kong IPOs this year.
Read the full article here