Asian billionaires Face IPO test as markets tumble


December 7, 2018 9:30 am

Fosun International Executive Director and Chairman Guo Guangchang.
Photo: File

INTERNATIONAL – Three Asian billionaires are testing the resilience of the IPO market, seeking to push through their listings before year-end as stocks continue to tumble globally.

First up is Fosun Tourism Group, slated to price a Hong Kong share sale of as much as $548 million on Friday. The Club Med owner has been telling investors it’s received enough orders to complete the IPO, though it expects to price toward the bottom of a marketed range.

Fosun Tourism, backed by tycoon Guo Guangchang, is working to finish its offering as Asian equities slumped Friday and US futures pointed to further declines. Signs in Hong Kong haven’t been good: mobile advertising startup Mobvista Inc. and health-product maker Natural Food International Holding Ltd. both completed IPOs in the city this week at or near the low end of their price ranges.

The next test will be SoftBank Group Corp. Chairman Masayoshi Son’s listing of his Japanese telecom business, which could raise as much as $23 billion if an over-allotment option is exercised. SoftBank took the unusual step of approaching investors with only a single price per share, rather than a broader range that would give it more wiggle room.

SoftBank is sticking to the plan and doesn’t currently see a need to change the price, Bloomberg News reported this week. The offering, which stops taking investor orders Friday, is already fully subscribed thanks to strong demand from local retail investors.

Chinese tech magnate Pony Ma’s online-streaming giant Tencent Music Entertainment Group will likely be one of the last major Asian offerings to price in 2018. It’s a local equivalent to Spotify Technology SA, which is also one of its investors. Tencent Music is seeking a valuation of as much as $24.5 billion–nearly the same as Spotify’s $24.4 billion market capitalization after a recent slide.

Bloomberg

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