Hong Kong sees another wild IPO swing from 84% gain to a loss

[HONG KONG] A Chinese pipe maker endured a rollercoaster debut, finishing the day at a loss after almost doubling during its initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong.

Maike Tube Industry Holdings surged as much as 84 per cent on Wednesday morning, before closing down 5.7 per cent.

It's the latest example of a stock seeing wild swings in its Hong Kong debut. Snack Empire Holdings nearly tripled on its opening day two months ago before closing down 6.2 per cent. Its shares are now 29 per cent below their offer price.

Maike Tube appeared to have stabilised by late-morning. But the weakness continued, capped by late-afternoon selling which pushed shares into negative territory.

Trading volume was 60 million shares, versus the 98.4 million sold in the HK$224 million (S$38.9 million) IPO. The offering had priced near the high end of expectations, and retail investors sought about 8.3 times the amount of stock made available to them. But after the initial surge Wednesday, enthusiasm quickly dissipated.

Initial public offerings have slowed this month in Hong Kong, in what is a typical seasonal lull globally ahead of the Christmas period. The local equity capital market of late was dominated by Alibaba Group Holding's more than US$11 billion secondary offering last month, the city's largest stock deal in nearly a decade. Its shares have risen 15 per cent since their debut.

Two other companies also started trading Wednesday in Hong Kong. Mainland concrete firm Tailam Tech Construction Holdings finished 14 per cent above its offer price after earlier climbing as much as 40 per cent. Appliance company JS Global Lifestyle, which cut the size of prior IPO plans, ended up 5.6 per cent.

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