More than $154 billion of share offerings in China are in danger of being shelved as the collateral damage from the the nation’s stock-market rout spreads.
“Selling new shares now, whether publicly or privately, is like trying to draw blood from a patient who’s already looking so weak and pale,” said Zhang Qi, an analyst at Haitong Securities Co. in Shanghai.
With China unleashing measure after measure to contain the meltdown, Warren Buffett-backed automaker BYD Co. and China Railway Group Ltd. are among the hundreds of companies staring at follow-on offerings that may now be in jeopardy, many of which are trading below the price they planned to sell the shares at, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Chinese stocks have lost about $3.9 trillion in market value in less than a month despite the various government measures including the suspension of IPOs and restrictions on bearish bets via stock-index futures.
“Any kind of fundraising will be difficult to place in this market,” said Hong Hao, Bocom International Holdings Co.’s Hong Kong-based chief strategist. “Even if you managed to place a secondary offering, you would have to price it at a substantial discount and the low price will in turn induce more anxiety.”
China Grand Automotive Services Co. was among the fortunate few managing to complete a share placement before such deals ground to a halt. After selling $3.7 billion of stock at 20.18 yuan apiece last month, the shares closed at 14.98 yuan in Shanghai on July 7 before they were suspended from trading.
Others haven’t been as lucky as the rout drove shares below their intended placement price. In Shenzhen, Shenwan Hongyuan Group Co. closed at 13.66 yuan at the 11:30 a.m. trading break on Thursday, 19 percent below the brokerage’s 16.92 yuan offer price. Electric-car maker BYD is now trading at 48.43 yuan, versus an offer price of 57.40 yuan. Still, China Railway is trading at 12.70 yuan, 68 percent above its placement price.
BYD spokeswoman Sherry Li said the market has been acting “irrational” recently and that the company is proceeding with its plans. The company also has a year to proceed with the placement.
China Railway didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment, while Shenwan Hongyuan declined to comment.
“If I were them, I would cancel the offering if there is no urgent need for the cash,” Bocom’s Hong said, in reference to companies seeking to sell shares. “It’s about liquidity. People will only take money from you and not give you any in this market.”
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