By Gina Lee
Investing.com – China’s Baidu (NASDAQ:) Inc (HK:) made an underwhelming on Tuesday, with shares traded at less than 1% premium and underperformed the city’s other recent technology listings.
Shares of the internet search engine company were at HK$252.60 ($32.53) by 13:09 AM ET (5:09 AM GMT), after opening at HK$254 and climbing as high as HK$256.60.
Baidu’s secondary listing raised $23.7 billion, or $3.05 billion, and its market value stood at HK$707.4 billion It sold 95 million shares priced at HK$252, which was lower than the high-end market target of HK$295.
The listing follows that of short-video app operator Kuaishou Technology (HK:) in February 2021, which raised $5.3 billion and enriched investors by 161%. The Kuaishou offering also saw 1,204 times in demand against the number of shares on offer to become the most sought-after retail offering in Hong Kong stock market history. Comparatively, the Baudi listing attracted 112 times subscription.
“Investors are not as compulsive as during the Kuaishou IPO to go into the market and make a killing… I don’t think we have that atmosphere or sentiment anymore, Wealthy Securities managing director Louis Tse Ming-Kwong said before the shares began trading.
Internet-platform operators such as Baidu have been subject to tighter onshore regulatory oversight. The bond market fluctuations arising from concerns about the tighter policy have also driven investors to the safety of old-economy stocks.
Timing also played a part in Baidu’s luck, with investor sentiment on technology companies souring due to valuation concerns and the also declined 22% from its February 2021 high.
Geopolitical tensions also caused market caution, after the U.S., U.K., European Union, and Canada imposed sanctions on China over alleged human rights abuses on Xinjiang’s Uyghurs.
According to its prospectus, Baidu controlled about 73% of the knowledge and information-centric internet platforms business in China by revenue in 2020. The market is expected to grow rapidly, projected to reach CNY342 billion ($52.52 billion) in 2025 from CNY89.6 billion in 2015.
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