Stockmarket

China Rare-Earth Firm Slumps 17% in Hong Kong Trading Debut



© Reuters

(Bloomberg) — Shares of China’s JL MAG Rare-Earth Co. dropped as much as 17% in their Hong Kong debut after being sold at the bottom of the marketed range in what is the biggest offering so far this year in the Asian financial hub.

The producer of magnetic rare-earth materials slid to as low as HK$28 on Friday. That’s versus an offer price of HK$33.80 apiece in the sale that raised HK$4.24 billion ($544 million). The Chinese company is already listed in Shenzhen.

JL MAG’s is the first offering to raise more than $500 million in Hong Kong this year as China’s crack down on several private enterprises plus the prospect of rising interest rates cast a shadow over deals in the Asian financial hub. The slow 2022 start contrasts with a busy kickoff in 2021, when 16 companies priced near $8 billion worth of shares last January, Bloomberg data show.

Shares of the 19 companies that debuted in Hong Kong over the past year after raising at least $500 million rose by an average 18% on the first day of trade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The average gain among those that debuted over the past six months, though, was just 4%.

At the intraday low, LG MAG Rare-Earth was headed for the worst performance since Feb. 2018 for a Hong Kong listing bigger than $500 million. A-Living Smart City Services Co. declined 23% in its first session on Feb. 8, 2018. 

LG MAG Rare-Earth has said it aims to use proceeds of the share sale for construction of a production base in Ningbo, potential acquisitions through 2023 and expansion of a global industry-chain layout. Profit for the six months ending June 2021 was 220.6 million yuan ($35 million), a 141% jump over same period a year earlier, according to the company’s prospectus.   

Citic Securities Co. and BNP Paribas (OTC:) SA were joint sponsors of the Hong Kong deal.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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