September 29, 2009 / 11:14 AM / 8 years ago

Wynn Macao sees strong demand amid shaky HK IPO market

* Wynn Macau IPO several times covered - sources

* Institutional portion is more than 10 times covered-source

* Hong Kong IPO markets show signs of weakening

* Peak Sport falls 17 pct in Tuesday debut

By Michael Flaherty

HONG KONG, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Days before the highly anticipated pricing for Wynn Macau’s $1.6 billion public offering, Hong Kong’s soaring IPO market is sputtering, with sportswear company Peak Sport (1968.HK) the latest weak debut.

Sources said the Wynn Macau deal, a spin-off of the Asian assets of U.S. casino operator Wynn Resorts (WYNN.O), is several times covered, with one source saying the institutional portion was more than 10 times over-subscribed.

The public listing looks to have solid demand before its scheduled pricing on Thursday, though sources also cautioned that the books just closed and pricing is still a day or two away.

The sources had direct knowledge of the IPO but were not authorised to speak publicly about it.

If priced at the top of the price range of HK$8.52 to HK$10.08 per share, Wynn Macau will raise HK$12.6 billion ($1.63 billion) in the fourth largest global IPO this year.

Interest in Wynn Macau offer is especially high given the deal’s potential impact on the company’s flagship Las Vegas operations. Wynn is hoping that a high valuation through the Macau listing here will boost valuations at its other divisions.

But the red hot Hong Kong IPO market, which ripped out several billion-dollar offerings that met with heavy demand and strong debuts, is showing signs of cooling.

Investors, which are seeing roughly $15 billion worth of IPOs hit the Hong Kong market over a three-month span, appear to be getting more selective.

“There are too many deals coming out at the same time,” said Andrew Mantel, managing director of Pacific Sun Investment Management. “There’s only so much to go around.”

Mantel, who went to the Wynn Macau investor luncheon but would not say whether the fund has committed money to the deal, said first mover advantage was important for Wynn.

“Companies are scrambling to raise money,” he said. “For Wynn, it’s important to tap the market before other casino operators.”

    Rival Las Vegas Sands (LVS.N) is aiming to raise $1 billion to $2 billion through the sale of a minority stake in its Macau operations at the end of November or early December. [ID:nN08268996]

    RECENT ISSUES STRUGGLE

    Several recent issue have struggled.

    Peak Sport Products (1968.HK) became the latest victim of cooling investor enthusiasm for Hong Kong offerings when its shares ended down 17 percent from their IPO price on Tuesday. [ID:nHKG324290]

    That weak showing followed a 13 percent fall late last week for Hong Kong-listed shares of Metallurgical Corp of China (601618.SS)(1618.HK), a building and engineering firm that raised $2.3 billion in Hong Kong’s largest IPO so far this year. [ID:nHKG40069]

    Despite the strong interest in Wynn Macau, the offering may not price at the actual top of its range due to lacklustre trading debuts in recent days for other major offerings.

    JPMorgan (JPM.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and UBS AG UBSN.VX are joint sponsors and global coordinators of the deal, with BofA-Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) as joint bookrunners.

    The Wynn IPO comes on the back of record monthly gaming revenues in Macau in August, and news that China has quietly eased restrictions on its citizens travelling from Guangdong province to Macau, signaling a faster-than-expected recovery in the world’s largest gaming market. [ID:nHKG158012] (Additional reporting by Doug Young and Shankar Ramakrishnan; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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