China/Hong Kong IPO Outlook Survey: 2011 Appears Stronger to Date than 2010, but Markets May Lose Steam in Second Half of the Year
Merrill Corporation survey of leading corporate securities attorney using Merrill DataSite finds retail and energy sectors will drive IPO issuances
July 14, 2011
NEW YORK – The Chinese IPO market for 2011 has been stronger than it was in 2010, but may lose momentum entering the second half of the year, according to a new survey by Merrill Corporation.
Merrill conducted an in-depth survey of 60 global securities attorneys who advise companies listing on major global exchanges, and who use Merrill DataSite, the leading virtual data room (VDR) solution for business communication and information management. According to the results of the independent survey of attorneys, 73 percent noted that the Chinese IPO market, including Hong Kong, will be either flat or stronger when compared to 2010 but 75 percent think the second half of the year will be flat or weaker when compared with the first half.
“The global IPO market has been much stronger in the first half of 2011, as compared to 2010, due to a renewed confidence in the global economy,” said Ed Bifulk, president of the Merrill DataSite virtual data room business at Merrill. “The market in China remains strong as the country’s economy continues to thrive, but as IPO transaction demand dwindles due to the large number of transactions completed in the first half of the year, we could see a slower market in the second half of 2011.”
Despite the potential slowing of the Chinese IPO market, survey respondents think that improvements in the IPO market will be driven by an improving economy and market stability (64%), and investor demand for IPOs (36%).
“The Hong Kong Exchange is continuing to see a robust pipeline of IPOs from both foreign and Chinese institutions that are looking to access Hong Kong's stable and vibrant capital markets,” said Henry Ong, partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges. “There continues to be a lot of pent-up demand from investors for new issuance and companies are looking to leverage more favorable valuations and better market conditions.”
The expectations for the 2011 Chinese IPO market lag those for the U.S. markets, but are far more optimistic than in the United Kingdom. According to the survey, when compared with the market in 2010, 70 percent of British securities attorneys think their local IPO market will remain at par or get weaker.
Attorneys surveyed anticipate retail (33%) as well as energy and natural resources (33%) to drive IPO issuances in 2011, followed by technology (14%) and media (10%). When asked about the most anticipated IPO for 2011, the majority of respondents (50%) said Prada.
Building on the Chinese IPO market, foreign companies are looking to access the Chinese capital markets and list on major exchanges in addition to or in lieu of listing on their home exchanges, according to 84 percent of participants. Attorneys anticipate listings from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and Australia.
“Hong Kong remains a popular exchange for companies located outside China, as is evidenced by the recent Prada IPO," said Venantius Tan, partner, Morrison & Foerster. “Many companies are listing on the Hong Kong exchange because it serves as a gateway to China, whose markets are actively traded and whose people are ready and willing to spend.”