(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong initial public offerings are enjoying their hottest quarter among retail investors in four years.

The median retail subscription ratio for IPOs since the start of October is 13 times, the highest since the second quarter of 2015, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Back then, retail investors put in orders of 180 times the amount on offer, when the market hit a peak. Now, the Hang Seng Index is almost flat for the year.

The popularity of listings comes as Hong Kong enjoys an end-of-year spike in equity issuance despite prolonged anti-government protests and market volatility from the U.S.-China trade war.

Hong Kong is on track to surpass 2018 in terms of fundraising for first-time share sales, with companies raising $36.6 billion so far, just $200 million short of last year’s total -- which itself was the highest since 2010. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s mega $12.9 billion share sale in the city last month gave a huge boost to the financial hub, which earlier this year had fallen far behind rival New York exchanges in issuance volume.

For now, Hong Kong’s position as a financial center is “unassailable,” said John Woods, chief investment officer for Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse Group AG, at an event in the city on Monday. Alibaba’s Hong Kong share sale -- the world’s largest dual listing ever -- is proof, Woods said. “That’s a pretty powerful statement and speaks to liquidity. There’s nowhere else in Asia that has the level of liquidity that China needs.”

The IPO exuberance is also reflected in the additional amount companies have been raising through their greenshoe, or over-allotment options. Alibaba fully exercised its option to sell up to 15% more shares, it said on Tuesday.

Companies have raised $3.49 billion through over-allotment options this year, the most since 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The figure for 2018 was just $2.23 billion, despite total issuance being higher. In percentage terms, companies since January have exercised on average 11% of the total 15% over-allotment available, weighted by deal size.


  • Postal Savings Bank of China
    • Shanghai exchange
    • Size $4.1b
    • Taking orders Nov. 28; listing date TBA
    • Citic Securities, CICC, China Post Securities, UBS Securities
  • Uni-Charm Indonesia
    • Jakarta stock exchange
    • Size up to $106.2m
    • Pricing Dec. 3, listing Dec. 20
    • Nomura, PT Sinarmas Sekuritas
  • Venus MedTech
    • Hong Kong exchange
    • Size $331m
    • Listing Dec. 10
    • Goldman Sachs, CICC, Credit Suisse, China Merchants Securities
  • China Merchants Commercial REIT
    • Hong Kong exchange
    • Size up to $383m
    • Pricing Dec. 3; listing Dec. 10
    • Citigroup
  • Alphamab Oncology
    • Hong Kong exchange
    • Size up to $234m
    • Pricing Dec. 6; listing Dec. 12
    • Morgan Stanley, Jefferies, CLSA
  • Renrui Human Resources Technology
    • Hong Kong exchange
    • Size up to $140m
    • Pricing Dec. 6, listing Dec. 13
    • BNP Paribas
  • XD Inc.
    • Hong Kong exchange
    • Size up tp $128m
    • Pricing Dec. 5, listing Dec. 12
    • CLSA
  • Bangkok Commercial Asset Management
    • Thailand stock exchange
    • Size $887m
    • Listing Dec. 16
    • Trinity Securities, Kasikorn Securities, UBS
  • Chison Medical Technologies

    • Shanghai Star board
    • Size $150m
    • Priced Nov. 19; listing TBA
    • Sinolink Securities
  • OneConnect Financial Technology
    • New York Stock Exchange
    • Size up to $504m
    • Pricing Dec. 12
    • Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Ping An of China Securities

More ECM situations we are following:

  • China Yuhua Education will buy back 3% convertible bonds due 2020 and proposes issuing HK$2.02 billion convertible bonds due 2024, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
  • PTT Oil and Retail unit expects to submit its IPO filing with Thailand’s Security and Exchange Commission in the first half of next year, PTT Pcl Chief Executive Officer Chansin Treenuchagron said at a conference in Bangkok.
  • Underwriters of Postal Savings Bank of China’s Shanghai IPO will need to pay 653 million yuan ($92 million) to take up 118.7 million shares issued by the lender due to inadequate demand from investors, the bank said in an exchange filing.
  • Uni-Charm Indonesia has priced its IPO at 1,500 rupiah, near the bottom of a marketed range, IFR reported, citing people with knowledge of the deal.
  • Venus Medtech, the Chinese developer of cardiovascular devices, will price its Hong Kong IPO at the top of a marketed range, people familiar with the matter said.
  • Cambodia’s Acleda Bank plans an initial share sale in the first quarter of 2020, which could make it the first bank to list on the Cambodia Securities Exchange, IFR reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.


  • Asia ECM Weekly Agenda
  • IPO data
  • U.S. ECM Watch
  • EU ECM Watch
  • To receive the ECM Watch in your inbox daily, click the “subscribe” button at the top of this article

--With assistance from Zhen Hao Toh and Gregor Stuart Hunter.

To contact the reporters on this story: Julia Fioretti in Hong Kong at jfioretti4@bloomberg.net;Fox Hu in Hong Kong at fhu7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lianting Tu at ltu4@bloomberg.net, Cecile Vannucci

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.