November 28, 2018 / 6:14 AM / 21 days ago

REFILE-Chinese medical tech platform WuXi AppTec launches $1 bln HK listing

(Corretcs typographical error in headline)

By Julia Fioretti

HONG KONG, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Shanghai-listed Chinese medical tech platform WuXi AppTec has launched a Hong Kong listing of up to $1.06 billion, braving weak markets and testing investor sentiment after a string of badly performing IPOs.

WuXi’s listing comes after other companies have had to drastically scale back their funding ambitions because of jittery markets, such as online parenting firm Babytree Group and online travel agent Tongcheng-Elong.

That makes WuXi’s hopes of raising between $954 million and $1.06 billion especially ambitious. The company is selling 116.47 million shares at a price range of HK$64.1 to HK$71.5 ($8.19-$9.13), a discount of between 19 percent and 27 percent to its closing price of 78.36 yuan ($11.27) on Tuesday, according to two sources familiar with the deal.

The company could raise up to $1.2 billion if a greenshoe, or over-allotment option, is exercised.

Hong Kong is on track to become the world’s top IPO centre by volume this year, with $33.2 billion raised so far, Refinitiv data show.

But most deals have sunk below their IPO prices, buffeted by concerns over a worsening China-U.S. trade war and slowing China growth that have roiled markets.

Chinese food delivery-to-ticketing services company Meituan Dianping raised $4.2 billion in its September IPO in what was the world’s biggest internet-focused listing in four years, but its shares have since slumped over 30 percent.

Smartphone maker Xiaomi has also fallen 14.5 percent since listing in July, while the Hong Kong benchmark index has fallen 11 percent this year.

Shanghai-based WuXi describes itself as the largest global pharmaceutical R&D services platform in Asia by revenue, providing research and manufacturing services and testing services for medical devices.

The company had revenues of 4.41 billion yuan in the first half of this year, up from 3.67 billion yuan in the same period last year, according to its prospectus.

WuXi’s profits jumped 67 percent year-on-year to 1.3 billion yuan in the first half of 2018.

Goldman Sachs, Huatai Financial and Morgan Stanley are sponsoring the IPO.

$1 = 6.9542 Chinese yuan renminbi $1 = 7.8275 Hong Kong dollars Reporting by Julia Fioretti; Editing by Stephen Coates

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