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UPDATE 1-Chinese condiment maker soars in HK debut on retail demand
January 28, 2014 / 2:35 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Chinese condiment maker soars in HK debut on retail demand

* Honworld shares rise as high as HK$8.91 vs HK$7.15 IPO price

* Company among recent IPOs in niche industries favoured by retail investors

* IPO’s retail tranche more than 1,045 times oversubscribed (Adds recent IPOs in Hong Kong, comments)

By Elzio Barreto

HONG KONG, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Shares of China’s largest maker of cooking wine soared on their Hong Kong trading debut, as the city’s retail investors flock to small listings of companies in niche industries focused on Greater China’s booming consumer power.

Honworld Group Ltd, maker of “Lao Heng He” brand cooking wine, soy sauce and vinegar, jumped as much as 25 percent in early morning trade on Tuesday, after an initial public offering which raised $115 million thanks to droves of retail investors.

The IPO was the most recent in sectors as disparate as funeral services, night club management and food products that have lured investors because of their growth prospects and unique appeal.

Magnum Entertainment Group Holdings Ltd, which manages three night clubs in Hong Kong, soared 89 percent in its debut last week, following a 45 percent first-day pop last month for China’s largest provider of funeral services, Fu Shou Yuan International Group Ltd.

“The business is quite attractive to the retail investor,” said Jasper Chan, corporate finance officer at brokerage Phillip Securities, which provides margin loans to retail investors looking to buy into IPOs. “There aren’t a lot of peers in the market and that’s why people flock to these companies.”

Shares in Honworld were trading around HK$8.69 after reaching as high as HK$8.91, compared with an IPO price of HK$7.15.

By comparison, the benchmark Hang Seng index was down 0.08 percent.

In the IPO, Honworld marketed 125 million new shares in a price range of HK$4.95 to HK$7.15 each, and raised HK$893.75 million.

The deal was flooded by orders from small investors, with the retail portion generating more than 1,045 times demand than the shares on offer, a company filing showed on Monday.

The institutional tranche of the IPO was also “significantly oversubscribed”, the filing showed.

Macquarie Group was the IPO’s sole sponsor and global coordinator. First Shanghai Securities Ltd also helped underwrite the deal.

The banks stand to earn $3.45 million in fees for managing the IPO, equivalent to a 3 percent underwriting commission and undisclosed incentive fees for Macquarie.

$1 = 7.7639 Hong Kong dollars Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Christopher Cushing

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