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Australia beats Hong Kong in IPOs for first time since 2019

This Sept 28, 2021 photo shows a paddler in Sydney Harbour and the skyline of the central business district in Sydney, Australia. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG)

The market for initial public offerings in Sydney has been on a tear, with the amount of deals priced last month surpassing that in Hong Kong for the first time in over two years.  

Twenty companies raised a total of about US$3.5 billion in Australia in October, the highest monthly value since November 2014. That compares with US$732 million booked in three deals in Hong Kong, the lowest amount for a month since April 2020.

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Several big-ticket deals are already in the pipeline, with infrastructure services provider Ventia Services Group Pt seeking to raise as much as US$900 million

Australia’s strong performance is likely to continue, as the fourth quarter is usually the busiest for IPOs in the country. 

Several big-ticket deals are already in the pipeline, with infrastructure services provider Ventia Services Group Pt seeking to raise as much as US$900 million. Australia’s border reopening this month will also see business and the economy pick up.

In contrast, in Asia’s traditional financial hub Hong Kong, big first-time offerings have almost entirely vanished since early July, when the Chinese mainland widened a regulatory crackdown over industries ranging from tech and property to education. The benchmark Hang Seng Index is one of the world’s worst performers this year and a tech rebound lost steam last week.

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Among companies that raised more than US$400 million through IPOs in Sydney last month and expected to start trading in November are application software developer Siteminder Ltd (US$470 million) and human resources, health care company APM Human Services International Ltd (US$731 million).