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Viva extends Hong Kong biotech fever in city's hottest IPO this year

[HONG KONG] Viva Biotech Holdings bucked a decline across Asia on its trading debut following Hong Kong's most popular initial public offering (IPO) this year.

The Shanghai-based company lured retail investors with orders for about 107 times the shares initially available to them, the highest ratio among 2019 offerings above US$100 million in the city, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The institutional tranche of the IPO was "significantly oversubscribed", Viva said in a filing, without providing more details.

Viva Biotech raised US$194 million selling shares at HK$4.41 (S$0.77) apiece, the top end of a marketed range. The sale was completed last week before an escalation of China-US trade tensions that tanked global equities market.

Shares of Viva Biotech rose 2.3 per cent to HK$4.51 as of 11:04am in Hong Kong, outperforming the 1.7 per cent drop in the benchmark Hang Seng Index. The stock climbed as much as 5.9 per cent earlier.

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Another biotech firm CanSino Biologics attracted orders for 91 times its initial retail tranche in March, making it Hong Kong's second hottest IPO of above US$100 million this year. The vaccine developer surged 58 per cent on its debut and has gained more than 68 per cent since the offering.