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China's WuXi AppTec ends flat on HK debut

Hong Kong

SHARES of Chinese medical tech platform WuXi AppTec ended flat on their first day of trading in Hong Kong on Thursday, joining a list of subdued debuts in the city this year with trade tensions keeping investors on tenterhooks.

WuXi AppTec, listed in Shanghai, had raised US$1 billion in its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO), valuing the firm at US$10.2 billion in a deal that marks one of this year's last big stock offerings in the Asian financial hub.

Its shares opened trade at HK$67 (S$11.80) and closed at HK$68, flat compared to the offer price of HK$68. The broader market ended up 1.3 per cent.

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Hong Kong is set to become the world's top IPO centre by volume this year, with US$36 billion raised so far, Refinitiv data shows. But despite the flurry, the performance of stocks has been patchy as US-China trade tensions have roiled markets.

Many firms like Meituan Dianping and Xiaomi, which raised billions of dollars in their listings, are still trading below their IPO prices, while other firms have had to scale back their targeted fundraising. Hong Kong's benchmark index is down 11.5 per cent this year.

WuXi AppTec describes itself as the largest pharmaceutical R&D services platform in Asia by revenue.

It had revenues of 4.41 billion yuan (S$880 million) in the first half of this year, versus 3.67 billion yuan in the same period last year, according to its listing prospectus. Its profits jumped 67 per cent to 1.3 billion yuan in the first half.

Goldman Sachs, Huatai Financial and Morgan Stanley sponsored the listing. REUTERS