China ECM deals becoming riskier for banks

Updated: 2011-07-26 13:22


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HONG KONG - Haitong Securities has become the latest underwriter to be left holding a big portion of a public share placement in China's domestic market, highlighting the risks bookrunners face in increasingly difficult conditions.

Sole underwriter Haitong ended up booking 58% of a 1.68 billion yuan ($260 million) primary follow-on for Jiangsu Zhongtian Technology, repeating a mistake rival Orient Securities made on a deal for Changjiang Securities four months earlier.

"We are comfortable with the outcome, as we have achieved our fundraising target," said a staffer at Zhongtian. "That Haitong dares to take up such a big amount of the placement shows it has a positive view on our company's outlook."

The incident, however, highlights the growing risks investment banks face in arranging public share placements.

Banks have typically been happy to hard underwrite share sales in China's domestic markets, where IPOs and new shares have traditionally been easy to place. Their chances of being left holding the stock, however, have increased dramatically this year with the waning of appetites for new equities.


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