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WEIBO CORPORATION

(WB)
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Weibo shares close down 7.2% in Hong Kong debut

12/08/2021 | 04:41am EST
Illustration picture of Chinese social media app Weibo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese social media giant Weibo Corp's shares closed 7.2% below their issue price in Hong Kong on Wednesday, as it became the latest U.S.-listed China stock to seek out a secondary listing closer to home.

The Hong Kong debut was in line with a fall in Weibo's primary listing in New York after a torrid week for U.S.-listed China shares, which are facing greater U.S. regulatory scrutiny and also under pressure from Chinese authorities.

Weibo, which raised $385 million for its Hong Kong listing, opened at $256.20 and closed at HK$253.2 after a volatile debut session.

The stock had been priced at HK$272.80 each in its secondary listing in which 11 million shares were sold.

"For Weibo, it's a matter of timing. The Hong Kong market had started to rebound this week and now we are seeing some softness emerging in the market," said Louis Tse, Wealthy Securities director in Hong Kong.

Weibo's fall came as Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed Wednesday up 0.06% while the Tech Index was 0.03% higher.

Some major stocks such as Alibaba Group Holdings, down 4.35%, were off sharply as sentiment towards tech majors remains fragile.

"The listing market in Hong Kong is very lukewarm right now," said Dickie Wong, Kingston Securities executive director.

"Plus, there is regulatory pressure from the (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) on Chinese companies to disclose basically everything within three years.

"So there is a major trend that most of the U.S.-listed Chinese companies will seek secondary or dual primary in Hong Kong so they can exit the U.S. market if they need to."

Ride-hailing giant Didi Global decided last week to delist from New York, succumbing to pressure from Chinese regulators concerned about data security and denting sentiment toward Chinese stocks.

Hong Kong and China's mainland STAR Market have attracted $15.2 billion worth of secondary listings from U.S. listed Chinese companies so far this year, according to Refinitiv data.

"The moves are probably based on the increasing recognition that the U.S.-China decoupling will not stop and will proceed steadily," said LightStream Research analyst Mio Kato, who publishes on Smartkarma.

"I would expect a continuous flow of listings from New York to Hong Kong over the next year or two."

The U.S administration is progressing plans to delist Chinese companies if they do not meet the country's auditing rules, which could affect more than 200 companies.

Chinese companies that list on U.S. stock exchanges must disclose whether they are owned or controlled by a government entity, and provide evidence of their auditing inspections, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said last week.

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch and Donny Kwok; editing by Richard Pullin and Louise Heavens)

By Scott Murdoch


© Reuters 2021
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 2 250 M - -
Net income 2021 482 M - -
Net cash 2021 1 306 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 15,2x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 7 542 M 7 542 M -
EV / Sales 2021 2,77x
EV / Sales 2022 2,36x
Nbr of Employees 5 073
Free-Float 41,7%
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Number of Analysts 21
Last Close Price 32,15 $
Average target price 56,22 $
Spread / Average Target 74,9%
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Managers and Directors
Gao Fei Wang Chief Executive Officer & Director
Fei Cao Chief Financial Officer & Vice President-Finance
Guo Wei Chao Chairman
Wei Wang Chief Operating Officer
Pehong Chen Independent Director
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