Friday, November 27, 2020
Martin Hennecke

New Oriental opens books for $11.9b IPO
New Oriental Education and Technology Group, Chinese biggest private school operator, opens retail books for its Hong Kong secondary listing today to raise up to HK$11.9 billion. The New York-listed company plans to offer 8.51 million shares at not more than HK$1,399 per share - possibly the most expensive stock in Hong Kong. The minimum investment is HK$14,131 per board lot of 10 shares. The retail books will close on November 3, and it is expected to start trading on the mainboard on November 9. The Beijing-based company will adopt a fully electronic application process for the Hong Kong public offering. New Oriental joins a new wave of secondary listings in Hong Kong due to heightened uncertainties of Sino-US relations. Its domestic counterpart, TAL Education, which is listed in New York, also is reportedly seeking a Hong Kong dual listing. New Oriental plans to use the net proceeds from the Offering for investments in technologies to enhance students' learning experiences, its business growth and geographic expansion, strategic investments and acquisitions, and general corporate purposes and working capital needs. "A listing in Hong Kong provides access and convenience to a broader set of investors by creating a nearly round-the-clock market to trade our shares, and will allow more of our customers and stakeholders across Asia to invest and participate in the fruits of our growth," said New Oriental founder and executive chairman Michael Yu Minhong. Credit Suisse, BofA Securities and UBS are the joint sponsors and joint global coordinators for the deal. Meanwhile, Chinese developer Radiance Holdings (9993) fell more than 8 percent in the gray markets ahead of its market debut, which means investors suffer a paper loss of more than HK$350 per board lot. JW Therapeutics, a loss-making biotech company, reportedly plans to price its Hong Kong initial public offering at HK$23.8, the top end of the indicative price range. The company attracted at least HK$27 billion in retail orders through margin financing for its HK$2.3 billion IPO. But some retail investors withdrew their subscriptions due to Ant Group's megalisting. Thanks to IPO activity, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority sold more than HK$11 billion into the market yesterday to defend the currency peg. The aggregate balance will increase to HK$454.29 billion on Friday.

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