Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Apple challenger Xiaomi makes lacklustre Hong Kong stock debut

Apple challenger Xiaomi makes lacklustre Hong Kong stock debut Apple challenger Xiaomi makes lacklustre Hong Kong stock debut
Emmett Howard | 10 July, 2018, 06:24

Xiaomi opened at HK$16.60, 2.4% lower than its IPO price of HK$17.

Today, July 9, was the first day for Xiaomi on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with the stock closing at $2.14, giving the Chinese smartphone manufacturer a valuation of almost $50 billion, though it should be noted that this is half the market capitalization of $100 billion that was expected from the IPO.

A new wave of Chinese tech companies are planning forays into public markets to raise billions of dollars through initial public offerings.

Beijing-based Xiaomi is the first firm in Hong Kong to trade with a controversial dual-class structure since listing rules were overhauled to allow weighted voting rights for different sets of shareholders. By 0234 GMT, the stock was trading at HK$16.48, down 3 percent, while the main Hong Kong stock market index.HSI was 1.4 percent higher. Apple is trading at 16 times earnings and Chinese social media giant Tencent is trading at 36 times.

"Trading below the issue price suggested that investors still felt the valuation of the stock was relatively high as compared with Tencent and Apple", said Linus Yip, chief strategist at First Shanghai Securities.

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The company had grown from a small startup to become the world's fourth-largest smartphone vendor at the end of past year.

Potential investors also struggled to view the company as the internet play it considers itself to be, rather than as a smartphone maker - the lower-margin business that now generates most of its profits, sources said.

Xiaomi's IPO began on Monday in Hong Kong to a fairly slow start, with trade slipping more than 2%, sometimes dropping by 5.88%. There has been a bit of debate as to whether or not it is a hardware company or an internet company, perhaps when the dust settles and investors know what they're getting into we could see the price move in Xiaomi's favour. That is far short of the oversubscription rates for other tech IPOs in Hong Kong. It is also the first under the city's new exchange rules permitting dual-class shares, common in the USA tech industry in an attempt to attract tech floats.

Xiaomi focuses on low-cost, high-performance smartphones and touts an innovative business model that features online services, a range of consumer electronics products built by partner firms, and a retail strategy that includes a network of physical stores.

Xiaomi is the biggest smartphone seller in India and is making inroads in Europe.

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