A Safe Harbor For Biotechs? Ascletis, BeiGene Mark Early Wins For HK Exchange
The market debuts of BeiGene and Ascletis on the new Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s Biotech section could further encourage other Chinese biotech companies as they seek to draw in a wider pool of investors and focus on the promising domestic sector.
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Biopharma financing reached $14.6 billion in the third quarter, a 15% increase over Q2, while merger and acquisitions, at $7.7 billion (the lowest quarter of the year so far), showed a sharp decline. Alliance value reached $20.3 billion, far exceeding the $13.8 billion from Q2.
The first IPOs to get away under Hong Kong's new relaxed rules for the listing of pre-revenue bioventures have seen mixed performances so far, and observers also have varying views on the likely success of the initiative, although the territory's stock exchange remains bullish as more companies line up to float.
The introduction of new listing rules in Hong Kong makes it easier for biotech companies to go public and provides incentives for both China-based and international companies to float there rather than in New York or elsewhere, although some concerns linger.