* Hong Kong IPO volumes tripled to $4.4 bln this year
* Hopewell Hong Kong Properties delays listing
* China Harmony Auto Holding plunges on debut
* Outlook cloudy for Macau Legend, NW Hotel Investments
* But Wuzhou makes solid start on its first trading day
(Recasts on outlook for Hong Kong IPO market)
By Elzio Barreto
HONG KONG, June 13 Signs of vigour in Hong
Kong's IPO market appear to have been short-lived after Hopewell
Hong Kong Properties Ltd became the second firm in a
month to delay its offering plans and an auto dealership plunged
on its debut on Thursday.
The slide in investor sentiment comes amid a sharp decline
in stock prices and could weigh on other offers that are in the
works in the region, bankers say.
In Hong Kong, these include a $786 million offering from
casino operator Macau Legend Development Ltd and an up to $1
billion listing from NW Hotel Investments. In Singapore,
Overseas Union Enterprise, a property firm owned by
Indonesian tycoon Stephen Riady, is pre-marketing an up to $800
million real estate investment trust (REIT).
Hopewell Hong Kong Properties, a unit of Hopewell Holdings
, had intended to raise up to $780 million.
While Hong Kong IPO volumes have more than tripled so far in
2013 to $4.42 billion from the same period last year, market
sentiment has taken a beating in recent weeks on concerns that
the U.S. Federal Reserve will unwind its ultra-easy monetary
policy and on worries about a weaker Chinese economy.
These fears have hit Asian financial markets and the
benchmark Hong Kong share index has tumbled 11 percent
from a three-month peak hit on May 20.
"This is not a good time for IPOs, especially for Hong Kong
property-related ones given that markets are jittery about the
timing of the Fed's tapering of its monetary stimulus," said
Linus Yip, a strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong
"It's hard to say if the window for IPOs is going to stay
shut until year end, I think we're all going to take a
The delay in Hopewell Hong Kong Properties' offering comes
after Mando China Holdings Ltd, controlled by South Korean auto
parts maker Mando Corp, postponed its $270 million
listing in late May, also citing adverse market conditions.
In particular, retail investors, who often set the tone for
trading momentum, have been in retreat.
China Harmony Auto Holding Ltd, an auto dealership
for BMWs, Rolls-Royces and Ferraris, plunged as much as 16.5
percent in its debut on Thursday after raising $215 million.
Demand for the deal was only 1.6 times the number of shares
available for retail investors.
In contrast, earlier this year retail investors flocked to a
$1.8 billion offering from Sinopec Engineering and the
$1.1 billion listing China Galaxy Securities Co Ltd,
both of which were about 30 times oversubscribed.
In Singapore, weak post-debut performances from REITs also
underscore the crumbling in sentiment.
Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust,
Singapore's biggest IPO this year, has given up all of its
earlier gains to trade just above its IPO price of S$0.93. The
stock has fallen 15 percent over the past one month and is down
8.5 percent over three months.
Business trust Asian Pay Television Trust which
was the second-biggest IPO in Singapore this year, is trading 11
percent below its IPO price.
The day was not completely gloomy in terms of IPO news.
Wuzhou International, a property developer in
mainland China, climbed nearly 5 percent in its debut after
raising $179 million in its IPO.
But even so, Wuzhou priced its offering near the bottom of
its indicative range and demand from individual investors
accounted for only half of the shares on offer in the retail
(Additional reporting by Clement Tan, Donny Kwok and Saeed
Azhar; Editing by Denny Thomas and Edwina Gibbs)