Weibo shares drop 6% beneath the problem value when listed in Hong Kong

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Chinese social media app Weibo can be seen on a mobile phone in this illustration image dated December 7, 2021. REUTERS / Florence Lo

Posted by Scott Murdoch

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Shares of Chinese social media giant Weibo (NASDAQ 🙂 Corp debuted 6.1% below their Hong Kong issue price on Wednesday as it became the newest US-listed Chinese stock to be secondary aspired to her hometown.

The Hong Kong debut marked a fall in the main Weibo listing in New York after a hot week for US-listed Chinese stocks, which are under increased oversight from US regulation and also under pressure from Chinese authorities.

Weibo, which raised $ 385 million on its Hong Kong listing, opened at $ 256.20 and fell to $ 254 after trading at HKD 272.80 a week ago.

"The Hong Kong stock market is very tepid right now," said Dickie Wong, executive director of Kingston Securities.

“There is also regulatory pressure from the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Chinese companies to disclose basically everything within three years.

"So there is an important trend that most US-listed Chinese companies are looking for a secondary or dual elementary school in Hong Kong so they can exit the US market if necessary."

The ride-hailing giant Didi Global decided last week to move away from New York -kong-2021- March 12th, succumbed to pressure from Chinese regulators worried about data security and depressing sentiment towards Chinese stocks.

So far this year, Hong Kong and China's mainland STAR markets have attracted $ 15.2 billion in secondary listings from US-listed Chinese companies, according to Refinitiv data.

"The steps are likely based on the growing awareness that the decoupling between the US and China will not stop and will continue steadily," said Mio Kato, an analyst at LightStream Research, who publishes on Smartkarma.

"I would expect a steady stream of offers from New York to Hong Kong for the next year or two."

The US government plans to remove Chinese companies from the list if they fail to comply with the country's auditing regulations, which could affect more than 200 companies.

Chinese companies that are listed on US stock exchanges must disclose whether they are owned or controlled by a government agency and are presenting evidence of their audit inspections, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said last week.

The tech index was up 0.3% around Wednesday noon, but some key stocks like Alibaba (NYSE 🙂 Group Holdings were down 4%.

"For Weibo, it's a matter of timing. The Hong Kong market started rallying this week and now we're seeing the market soften a little," said Louis Tse, Hong Kong director of Wealthy Securities.

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