The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

How Hong Kong’s IPO market broke

The Hong Kong equity market’s heavy dependence on big listings from mainland China has been its fortune, but is now its bane. Diversification has been tried, but seems misdirected by not focusing on Asia. What will it take to reverse the decline?

The Hong Kong IPO market is broken and that won’t change any time soon. Even if it comes back to long-term health, which isn’t clear at the moment, it won’t be what it once was. It will never be the same."

Is this hysteria? Hyperbole? Or the understandable venting of fear and loathing by a seriously underworked Hong Kong equity capital markets banker – the source of the quote – in the run-up to what looks set to be a highly unsatisfying bonus season?

Whatever the answer, this has indeed been a strangely fallow year for a city usually viewed as a bellwether for the state of Asia’s primary capital markets. Before the financial crisis, Hong Kong regularly topped global initial public offering rankings. Even as recently as 2011, the city processed more initial stock sales, in dollar terms, than any other jurisdiction apart from the US and the People’s Republic of China.

There were even encouraging signs that Hong Kong’s markets were growing up and diversifying, weaning themselves off an unhealthy addiction to outsized stock sales by Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs). A brace of 2010 IPOs, from Russian aluminium producer Rusal and French cosmetics firm L’Occitane, appeared to signal a shift in identity and strategy.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree