HK IPO market appeals to Aussies

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In the first two deals of their kind to date, two Australian companies were recently delisted from their home share market and came to be listed in Hong Kong.

“It is a big decision for a listed company to change its listing venue, and we can expect a multitude of factors to be behind such a decision,” Candy Chan, a partner at King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) in Hong Kong, told Asia Business Law Journal. “For instance, one consideration would be the difficulty of further capital raising in Australia.”

KWM advised the sole sponsor and the underwriters on the Hong Kong listing of Dragon Mining, an Australian company engaged in gold exploration, mining and processing with mines, pre-production mining assets and production plants in Sweden and Finland.

The Dragon Mining IPO was the second in which an Australian company delisted from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and listed on the main board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (HKEX).

KWM had also advised OPUS Group, an Australia-based printing solutions and services provider, on changing its listing venue from ASX to HKEX.

Chan said Hong Kong’s well developed capital markets and strong legal, regulatory and financial regimes made the city an ideal listing platform. “Shareholders of Australian companies can benefit from the city’s higher market liquidity and valuation, as well as its potentials to attract strategic investors and improve fiscal efficiencies,” she said.

“The successful listings of both Dragon Mining and Opus Group further reinforce Hong Kong’s potential to attract a more diversified portfolio of listed companies.”

In the Dragon Mining IPO, the KWM Hong Kong team was led by Chan, with support from associates Jonathan Tsang and Omina Leung, trainee solicitor Andrew Watson and legal manager Nicholas Lee.

The KWM Hong Kong team acting on the OPUS Group’s Hong Kong listing was led by partners John Baptist Chan and Candy Chan. The firm’s Australian team was led by partner Nigel Hunt.