September 27, 2013 / 1:47 AM / in 6 years

Huishan Dairy in weak HK debut, loses 5 pct in early trade

HONG KONG, Sept 27 (Reuters) - China Huishan Dairy fell as much as 5.6 percent in its first trading day on the Hong Kong stock exchange, a disappointing debut after the company priced its IPO on top of expectations.

The shares opened at HK$2.55 in early morning and traded as low as HK$2.52. The initial public offering, which raised $1.3 billion for the company and some of its shareholders, was priced last week at HK$2.67 per share, at the top of its marketed range of HK$2.28-$2.67.

In a securities filing on Thursday, Huishan Dairy said it received orders from retail investors worth nearly 13 times the number of shares on offer, underscoring strong demand from individuals in Hong Kong, while the institutional tranche of the IPO was “well oversubscribed.”

Huishan Dairy’s listing comes amid a slump in IPOs in Asia Pacific and the losses could further dampen demand for upcoming deals.

Hit by stricter regulations in mainland China and political uncertainty in Malaysia before general elections in May, new listings in Asia Pacific ex-Japan plunged 34.4 percent in the first nine months of 2013 from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters data through Sept. 24.

Huishan Dairy hired Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs , HSBC and UBS as sponsors and joint global coordinators of the IPO. CIMB, Investec Capital Asia and Jefferies acted as joint bookrunners.

In a sector bedevilled by food safety scandals, investors are drawn to Huishan’s position as China’s largest integrated dairy firm with control over grass planting, dairy processing and product development - giving it more oversight on quality. (Reporting by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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