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Shanghai Henlius Biotech gauging demand for US$600m HK IPO

Hong Kong

THE summer IPO drought in Hong Kong is coming to an end.

Shanghai Henlius Biotech Inc, a unit of billionaire Guo Guangchang's Fosun group, started gauging investor demand on Monday for a planned initial public offering, according to terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg. The offering could raise at least US$600 million, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

While summer is typically quiet for first-time share sales in Hong Kong as bankers and investors go on holidays, the city's ongoing protests and an escalating trade war between China and the US have hurt investor sentiment.

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No major listing has been completed in the financial hub since mid-July after Jinshang Bank Co raised US$474 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV stalled a listing of its Asian subsidiary last month.

Companies have raised US$1.54 billion via IPOs in Hong Kong since the beginning of July. That compares to US$11.5 billion for the same period last year, which had the busiest summer on record with listings of China Tower Corp and Xiaomi Corp.

Henlius, an unprofitable biopharmaceutical firm, plans to use the IPO proceeds to fund clinical trials and for general corporate purposes, the terms show.

One of its products that treats lymphoma has received approval from China's National Medical Products Administration for commercial sales in May, according to a preliminary prospectus.

China International Capital Corp, Bank of America Corp, CMB International Capital Ltd, Fosun Hani Securities and Citigroup Inc are joint sponsors, the prospectus shows. BLOOMBERG