March 28, 2018 / 9:01 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-HK media firm Most Kwai Chung soars on debut; IPO tops popular list

* Retail IPO portion 6,289 times subscribed, tops popular list

* Stocks end up 432 pct, record gain on small IPO debut -Dealogic

* Market cap above Sing Tao, HK Econ Times, One Media (Recasts; updates stocks prices)

HONG KONG, March 28 (Reuters) - Hong Kong satirical media group Most Kwai Chung Ltd became the city’s best-ever first-day gainer after its shares leapt as much as 880 percent on their debut in the city on Wednesday.

The shares, which priced at HK$1.2 apiece and opened at HK$8.40, shot as high as HK$11.76 in early trade before trimming gains to end at HK$6.38 for a 432 percent gain. The benchmark Hang Seng Index meanwhile fell 2.5 percent.

The gain set a record for any company, however small, listing on the stock exchange’s Main Board, according to data from Dealogic. The previous record was set earlier this month, when B&S International Holdings Ltd jumped 298 percent.

The gains gave Most a market valuation of HK$1.72 billion ($219.2 million) - vaulting it far above established media groups such as Sing Tao News Corp with a market capitalisation of $111.5 million, Hong Kong Economic Times Holdings Ltd at $78.6 million, and One Media Group at $67.4 million.

Most, which describes itself as an advertising and media services provider, attracted attention on Tuesday when the retail public offering portion of 6.75 million shares was 6,289 times subscribed, making it Hong Kong’s most popular ever IPO among retail investors.

The company is best known for its weekly satirical magazine, 100Most, launched in 2013 and aimed at a younger audience.

A total of 185.3 million shares changed hands - almost triple the 67.5 million sold in the IPO.

“The rally totally couldn’t be judged by fundamentals. It was purely speculation with punters joining in for a ride aiming for quick profit,” said Steven Leung, a sales director at UOB Kay Hian. “If you have the stock, take profit; if you don’t have the shares, don’t chase them.”

Most’s IPO raised HK$81 million. After taking out 26 percent of the proceeds to cover the cost of listing, the company said the remaining funds would be used to fund mergers and acquisitions, to expand business operations and its customer base as well as to upgrade its TVMost website, mobile application and internal IT system.

Most chairman Iu Kar Ho, executive director Luk Ka Chun and Tsui Ka Ho are controlling shareholders holding an aggregate 67.5 percent of the company.

Ever-long Securities Co Ltd was the sole bookrunner and sale lead manager of the issue. ($1 = 7.8472 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Donny Kwok and Jennifer Hughes; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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