Chinese investors flock to new IPOs

January 26, 2016 11:32 AM (UTC+8)

 

Even as China’s stock market has fallen to a 14-month low, investor are scooping up the country’s first initial public offering under rules implemented on Jan. 1.

The new rules let investors order IPO shares at prices set to remain well below those of already listed peers and without paying for the shares upfront.

Amid a market suffering its worst performance in 25 years, Guangzhou Goaland Energy Conservation Tech, a producer of coolants for electricity generators, said its nearly $39 million IPO was oversubscribed more than 4,000 times.

Priced nearly a third cheaper than listed sector rivals, Goaland Energy’s oversubscription rate was about 10 times that of IPOs before the change of rules, analysts said.

The new rules say investors don’t need to pre-pay for IPO share orders during the subscription period. Without having to put money down, this allows them to place bigger-volume bets without tying up funds. At the same time, analysts and investors expect an unofficial practice of pricing new IPO shares at a discount to listed peers to continue, almost guaranteeing a debut day “pop.”

Goaland Energy is one of seven IPOs approved by China’s securities regulator last week under the new system. All set to trade on China’s Nasdaq-style ChiNext board in Shenzhen, the company will offer 16.67 million shares at 15.52 yuan each. Proceeds will be used to expand the company’s core business and supplement working capital, it said in an earlier prospectus.

Goaland’s price came in at a 33%  discount to listed peers in electric equipment and machinery manufacturing, according to Thomson Reuters IFR publication

“Regulators artificially keep the IPO prices much lower than market valuations,” investor Zhu Haifeng told Reuters. “Only when government control is removed, say, let IPOs priced at 50-60 times earnings, will we witness shares fall below IPO prices on debut.”

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