Hong Kong has been quiet in terms of new listings so far this year. Six companies have completed initial public offerings, but together they have raised only $247 million and the largest deal was only about $90 million. But bankers say they are confident that 2011 will be another blockbuster year for Hong Kong in terms of equity volumes overall and stress that IPO pipelines are looking very similar to those a year ago.
One theme that began last year and is expected to gather pace this year is the listing of international companies in Hong Kong. And while this is perhaps not the trend that will make 2011 another record year for new listings, there is clearly a lot of buzz surrounding it right now and bankers claim to be having ongoing discussions with numerous companies that are pondering a listing in Hong Kong.
Already, Italian fashion designer Prada has confirmed, through a statement in late January, that it is aiming to list in Hong Kong this year, following several months of speculation to that effect. The Milan-based company said it has mandated Italian investment banks Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit together with CLSA and Goldman Sachs to help arrange the deal.
And, earlier in the same week, sources said that Glencore International, the world’s largest commodities trader and the owner of a controlling stake in Swiss mining company Xstrata, is seeking to list in Hong Kong and London, with the primary listing set to be in Hong Kong. The company, which has an estimated equity value of $50 billion to $60 billion, has mandated Citi, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley to help arrange the IPOs that are currently targeted for the second or third quarter.
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