FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Ping An widely anticipated debut fails to live up to the hype

The company plummeted by as much as 11% to trade below the low end of the range.

Despite the hype surrounding online healthcare portal Ping An Healthcare & Technology Co.’s initial public offering which was 653 times oversubscribed, the public debut failed to live up to expectations after shares plunged 11% to trade below the low end of the range before paring losses to 3.7% at the close, according to Bloomberg.

The stock, which drew $47.5b of retail money for a $1.1b IPO, closed unchanged on Friday in the worst first-day performance by a technology company on the city’s main board in almost four years.

Buying and holding shares doesn’t sound as attractive anymore as hot retail demand has pushed offer price although about three quarters of the companies have dropped below their listing prices post IPO, compared with average returns of 18% in the US.

"[W]hat we’re seeing in Hong Kong is classic late cycle, where shareholders want to lock in gains quickly because there’s a certain lack of confidence in the broader market. Post-IPO performance has been disappointing," said Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Hellerup, Denmark.

Also read: IPO boom buoys short-lived HKD rally

The disappointing debut couldn’t have come at a worse time as Hong Kong moves to host smartphone maker Xiaomi’s blockbuster IPO which is poised to be the world’s largest listing since Alibaba’s debut in 2014.

Here’s more from Bloomberg:

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