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Hong Kong IPO said to be 1,500 times oversubscribed in frenzy

[HONG KONG] Investors are still flocking to initial public offerings in Hong Kong, with a Chinese eye-clinic chain drawing the heaviest demand in more than a decade even after some of last year's hot deals fell below their offer prices.

Individual buyers placed orders for at least 1,557 times the stock initially set aside for them in the sale of C-Mer Eye Care Holdings Ltd, said people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. That's the highest retail participation in 11 years for Hong Kong IPOs worth at least US$50 million, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

C-Mer, which counts Tencent Holdings Ltd chairman Pony Ma as a cornerstone investor, is seeking to raise up to US$73 million, with 10 per cent of the offering earmarked for retail buyers, the prospectus shows. Under a claw-back rule, the ratio will increase to 50 per cent if orders top 100 times the initial retail stock.

C-Mer will complete order-taking today and start trading on Jan 15. A Hong Kong-based external spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on the IPO.

Yixin Group Ltd, an online car-loan provider backed by Tencent, has been trading below its IPO price since November. The sale was oversubscribed more than 500 times when the firm went public in the same month.

Razer Inc, a maker of computer accessories for games, fell below its sale price last month before regaining the level. In a November offering, Razer's offering was nearly 300 times oversubscribed.