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A book holds a house of gold. That is a line of classic wisdom from China, and for some, it proved true yesterday.
Investors who bet big on China Literature, the nation’s largest online and e-book publisher, beat market expectations when the firm’s shares doubled in value on debut.
The company, a spin-off of Tencent Holdings, was launched on the day when the price of shares in the city’s largest blue-chip company surged 100% in the year-to-date. 2017 has been a breakthrough year for Tencent.
On Wednesday morning, Tencent surged 2% to HK$398.80 (US$51.10), a record high. It ended 1.4% down at $385.60.
Its 52%-owned China Literature surged to a high of HK$110 before closing at $102.40 – well over its initial public offering (IPO) price of $55.
Both Tencent and China Literature dominated the top two spots for turnover on the day.
China Literature attracted more than HK$521 billion, equivalent to a fifth of Hong Kong’s cash in circulation, from nearly 420,000 retail investors. That made it the second hottest IPO since China Railway Construction Corporation in 2008.
According to data from Reuters, the firm raised US$1.1 billion and was 65 times over-subscribed, making it one of the world’s best performing IPOs.
The company has 9.6 million literary works by about 6.4 million authors.
Over 100,000 investors applied for a minimum 200 lots of China Literature. But just 8,000 – those lucky enough to get shares – should have made as much as HK$11,000 on the first day.
Some 277 wealthy investors, who threw in HK$416 million each and got 18,000 shares each, would have made nearly HK$1 million if they cashed out their holdings.
These happy investors might not be classic literature lovers, but they share one thing in common: confidence in Tencent.
Meanwhile, WeChat – China’s biggest game maker and an instant message provider – has become a miracle stock over the last five years, surpassing HSBC and China Mobile as the biggest company by market capitalization in Hong Kong.
The company with a humble name, given by founder Pony Ma, debuted at HK$3.70 in 2004, but it has had a great run, surging over 500 times despite the shares being split one-for-five after listing.
Tencent has become more aggressive since last year after buying into Supercell, the Finnish maker of the Clash of Titans, and grabbing a minority stake in Tesla. Along the way, it also sold some holdings via initial public offering.
This week Tencent’s associated company Yixin, China’s largest online automobile retail transaction platform, is offering shares in another hot IPO offering. And another music platform spin-off, Tencent Music, is said to be listing early next year.