HONG KONG The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is investigating whether investors violated the rules by placing multiple subscriptions to improve their chances of participating in New Horizon Health’s initial public offering.
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEX), through the Tricor Share Register, requested brokers involved in the IPO to provide the names and ID card numbers of the retail investors assigned to the shares, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
HKEX has asked brokers to confirm that they have “followed the proper process and rejected multiple requests or multiple suspected requests,” according to the email message to the businesses which was obtained by Bloomberg.
The exchange responds to growing complaints about multiple apps during recent popular IPOs such as Yidu Tech, Kuaishou Technology and the agreement withdrawn from the Ant Group. Each has attracted over a million subscribers in a city of about seven million people. More than 11,000 multiple applications were found and rejected in the New Horizon sale, according to a Feb. 17 announcement detailing the IPO.
“It’s rare for HKEX to make such a request, especially for these mega IPOs,” said Tom Chan Pak-lam, president of the Institute of Securities Dealers. The exchange may want to deal with multiple subscription complaints in previous agreements as well, he said.
It’s unclear what the remedy will be if the exchange determines violations across multiple orders. It can be difficult to reverse allocations as some investors may have already sold.
Currently, Hong Kong brokers are submitting spreadsheets of their IPO investments to the stock exchange’s listing division for review. But there is no control that the data provided is not changed and the process also takes a considerable amount of time, the exchange said in a November article.
The exchange came up with a digital platform, known as Fini, to eliminate several apps. This will fill a loophole where investors register accounts with different brokers for the same IPO. A comment period on the plan ended last month and the platform could be up and running no earlier than the second quarter of next year, according to the exchange.
Spokesmen for the city’s stock exchange and Securities and Futures Commission declined to comment. Representatives for New Horizon could not be reached for comment. The survey was reported earlier by the Hong Kong Economic Journal.
The Chinese cancer-screening biotechnology company more than tripled when it debuted on Thursday, after raising US $ 263 million (S $ 348 million).
As few as 2 percent of the candidates in a board batch were awarded shares. Even international deals where institutional investors place orders were so heavily over-subscribed that there was barely enough stock to be spread among the deeper funds, according to a company file.
The city’s financial regulator, the SFC, proposed earlier this month to tighten the rules for brokerage houses handling stock and bond sales to combat inflated orders and continued higher fees in the Asian financial center.
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