Shares in China Literature Ltd doubled in their debut in Hong Kong on Wednesday, as the online publishing arm of Tencent Holdings Ltd benefited from a rising tide of local enthusiasm for tech stocks.
China Literature`s shares rose to as much as HK$110 in early trade, compared to its public offering price of HK$55 per share, giving the country`s biggest e-book firm a market value of nearly $13 billion.
A closing gain of more than 44 percent would make it the best-performing debut this year worldwide by any company raising more than $500 million, according to Thomson Reuters data.
"As the first Tencent-controlled subsidiary tapping capital markets, China Literature has to perform well in the secondary market to set a good example for other Tencent units," said an institutional investor who took part in the IPO, declining to identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
Demand for the IPO, which raised $1.1 billion, was such that retail investors bid for 625 times the shares on offer - tying up HK$521 billion ($67 billion), equivalent to a fifth of Hong Kong`s cash in circulation, as they waited to see whether their offers would be accepted.
The company also said the institutional portion of the deal was significantly oversubscribed.
China Literature is China`s biggest e-book platform, offering 9.6 million literary works from 6.4 million authors.
Co-CEO Liang Xiaodong told reporters after the opening bell ceremony that the stock`s surge was a pleasant surprise.
"Going forward, we will conduct M&As and forge strategic alliances ...in a bid to stay ahead in our industry," he said.
Its IPO success comes as the number of tech offerings in Hong Kong is picking up. Online insurance group ZhongAn raised $1.5 billion in September in Asia`s biggest-ever financial technology IPO. Its shares jumped 18 percent in their debut.
Razer Inc, a gaming hardware maker backed by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing as well as Intel Corp, will make its Hong Kong debut next Monday. It has priced its HK$4.12 billion ($528 million) IPO near the top end of its price range, IFR reported on Tuesday.
"(ZhongAn) gave people size and returns, so retail and high net worth individuals got excited. And that is being reflected in China Literature and Razer," said one banker involved in the China Literature deal, also declining to be identified.
Tencent owns 62 percent of China Literature, while Carlyle Group LP holds 12.2 percent. A further 6 percent is owned by Trustbridge Partners, which was founded by Shujun Li, the former CFO of Shanda Interactive.
Last year the company reported sales rose 59 per cent to 2.6 billion yuan ($392 million), resulting in a net profit of 30.4 million yuan - a sharp swing from a loss of 354.2 million yuan in 2015.
The strength of retail demand for the company`s shares in the IPO resulted in a "clawback" where bankers reallocated shares earmarked for fund managers to retail accounts. In the end, small investors took 33 percent of the shares on offer, up from 10 percent initially.
($1 = 6.639 yuan)
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)