HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong bankers are eyeing a slew of blockbuster IPOs from Chinese technology firms with a total market capitalization of some $500 billion over the next two years, in a sharp contrast to 2017 – the city’s worst year for raising equity in a decade.
If bankers’ expectations are met, it would set up Hong Kong for a showdown with New York, the traditional host for the world’s hottest new-economy companies and Hong Kong’s closest rival for the global IPO crown.
Companies such as smartphone maker Xiaomi [IPO-XMGP.HK] and wealth management platform Lufax are among those mulling multi-billion dollar listings in Hong Kong next year, encouraged by a late-2017 rush of tech floats.
Bankers estimate Xiaomi’s IPO could value the company at up to $100 billion, while Lufax was valued at $18.5 billion in its last funding round.
“The expectation is that over the next couple of years there is probably upwards of $500 billion of market capitalization just in the tech sector in China that could go public,” said Tucker Highfield, head of equity capital markets syndicate for Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse.
Some firms will still head to New York, whose acceptance of dual-class share structures is attractive for many technology companies. Meituan-Dianping, a Chinese online platform for ordering food and booking movies, is expected to choose New York for a float that could raise $3 billion.
But Hong Kong, the world’s biggest equity capital-raising center for four of the last 10 years, is looking to revive its appeal and this month announced plans to allow dual-class shares as it tries to…