2018 may see a blockbuster turnaround for Hong Kong IPOs. Bankers in the city are feeling optimistic over a slew of Chinese tech firms set to debut over the next two years, totaling some $500 billion in market value. That's a stark contrast to 2017, the city's worst year for raising cash since the global financial crisis a decade ago.
If Hong Kong lives up to the hype, Reuters' Jennifer Hughes says it may set up a showdown over the IPO crown.>> We've got a big number of Chinese tech companies listing in the next couple of years, hopefully lots of them in 2018. And the chances are they're going to come to Hong Kong, and they won't be going to list in New York.
Hong Kong and New York are really big rivals in the IPO world. New York thinks it has everything cuz it gets Facebook and Google, Alibaba listed in New York. But Hong Kong is coming back and fighting back. If these tech companies, we're talking people like Tzumi, the smartphone maker, and Lufax, the wealth management company.
If they list in Hong Kong, and it's very possible that they will, that changes the balance. Because no longer will we have these big tech companies going to New York. They're going to list at home in Hong Kong.>> In December, the city set plans to raise the stakes against New York, drafting rules for dual class shares which may draw in more big tech listings.
>> The big issue for Hong Kong in the next year is gonna be dual class shares. If this, for founder's sake it weighted voting rights where a company founder like Mark Zuckerberg can control Facebook without having to own all the shares, if that comes to Hong Kong, it puts Hong Kong on a level playing field with New York.
And makes it even more likely that a lot more Chinese tech companies, startups like the US ones that we're all familiar with, that these guys can come to Hong King where the founder can then list his company but still maintain control.>> Already, there are signs things are picking up.
On opening day, hot tech listing China Literature jumped up 80%, the biggest IPO pop anywhere in the world in 2017.