The weather may be hot in Hong Kong, but conditions in its IPO market are distinctly chilly.
Three huge initial public offerings failed to excite Hong Kong investors,. with subscription responses way below what was hoped for.
China Tower, a spin-off of the three mainland telecom giants, was reported to be marginally over-subscribed in what was believed to be the largest global IPO in the last four years.
The telecom infrastructure company, which is seeking up to HK$68.1 billion (US$8.73 billion), is among the all-time top 10 offerings with the worst investor response, according to Hong Kong Economic Journal.
Ranking as the sixth-largest local IPO, China Tower has attracted 45,000 retail investors for an oversubscription rate of 1.3 times.
By comparison, Industrial and Commerce Bank of China, which ranked second by raising HK$125 billion in 2006, topped the list with 969,000 retail investors for an oversubscription rate of close to 75 times.
Another underachiever was Ascletic Pharma, Inc, whose shares today rose as much as 6% in the first hour of trading, only to close unchanged at its offer price of HK$14. Meanwhile, on Wednesday the Hang Seng Index fell 242 points, or 0.85%, to close at 28,340.74.
Ascletis Pharma, whose IPO raised US$400 million, attracted 16,000 retail investors for an over-subscription rate of 8 times.
China Tower is now seen to represent an unattractive yield while Ascletis Pharma remains a loss-maker. They contrast with Xiaomi Corp, which last month went for listing backed by seven years of high growth.
The high-profile mobile telephone and home appliance maker slashed its capital target in half to US$50 billion. Even though it is still likely to represent the highest-valued newly listed company this year, the move had a chilling effect on Hong Kong IPOs.
Xiaomi debuted with a first-day loss, the worst first-day performance for an over US$1 billion Hong Kong IPO since 2011, according to Bloomberg.
However, Xiaomi, which attracted over 110,000 retail investors for an subscription rate of eight times, staged a 30% rebound, thanks to its inclusion in the FT Russell index, and has mostly kept its head above water in subsequent trading.