September 27, 2018 / 9:09 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Tech deals adviser China Renaissance sinks 22 pct in Hong Kong debut

* Previous weak IPOs seen hurting its performance

* Firm is an investment bank known for its tech deals (Updates price; adds analyst comment and background)

By Julia Fioretti

HONG KONG, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Investment bank China Renaissance plunged as much as 24 percent on debut in Hong Kong on Thursday, becoming the latest high profile Chinese listing in the city that investors have soured on.

China Renaissance, which has advised on some of the country’s biggest technology deals and is led by famed rainmaker Bao Fan, was hurt by the stock market performance of some recent large initial public offerings (IPOs) which signalled trouble for that line of its business, some analysts said.

It fell to a low of HK$24.15 ($3.09) after opening at the IPO price of HK$31.80. The shares closed down 22.3 percent on Thursday.

Hong Kong IPOs have performed poorly this year, buffeted in part by market jitters over a worsening Sino-U.S. trade war.

Chinese online food delivery-to-ticketing services firm Meituan Dianping gained 5 percent on its debut last week but is now trading below its IPO price, while hotpot chain Haidilao, which began trading on Wednesday, also dropped below its issue price on Thursday.

Alex Wong, director at Ample Finance Group, said the weak performance of those two IPOs had weighed on China Renaissance, as its business depends in part on IPO performance.

“The most attractive part is to invest in those new economy companies and then get them listed later on, so if the sentiment is like this then you would doubt whether they could replicate their success of the past,” he said.

China Renaissance is reputed for having advised both sides on some big Chinese tech deals, including the 2015 merger of Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache that created ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, with Bao locking himself and the CEOs of the two firms in a hotel suite until they reached agreement.

Bao, 47, who has previously worked at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, has been described as one of the best-connected bankers in China.

Founded in 2005, China Renaissance started as a two-person team, seeking to match capital-hungry startups with eager venture capitalist and private equity investors.

Since then, it has grown to become a 600-strong house that also provides underwriting, sales and trading services as well as research services.

The proceeds from the $346 million IPO will be used to further expand the investment banking, investment management and wealth management businesses.

Goldman Sachs and ICBC International sponsored the IPO. ($1 = 7.8146 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Julia Fioretti; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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