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More Chinese companies choose US as destination to go public

2014-05-20 09:18 Xinhua Web Editor: Qin Dexing

A senior vice president with NYSE Euronex says that more and more Chinese enterprises are attracted to do initial public offering (IPO) in the United States and predicts that around 15 to 20 of them could go public in the States this year.

"What I've seen is a nice building process from two years ago when we only had two IPOs. One of them VIP (Vipshop Holdings Limited) was listed here and did extremely well," said David A. Ethridge, senior vice president and head of the Capital Markets Group at NYSE Euronext, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Shares of Vipshop, an online discount retailer, were traded at around 165 U.S. dollars per share Monday, compared to 6.50 dollars per share since it announced its IPO in March 2012. China's social gaming portal YY Inc., which was listed on Nasdaq in November 2012, also saw its shares surge to around 56 dollars per share from its IPO price of 10.50 dollars apiece.

Two things happened to increase the likelihood of companies coming from China, Ethridge said.

"One was the public capital markets in the U.S. were very strong," he said. The major U.S. stock indices traded up 25 percent or more during 2013, which is very helpful to all IPOs and certainly helpful to the technology sector with most of the companies coming from China in the technology arena, he explained.

"The second thing that happened was the Chinese companies that were already public were trading up," which helped investors feeling positive about these IPOs coming from China, he said.

Ethridge said he doesn't believe accounting concerns should be an issue today with Chinese companies. "They've got first-class, world-class advisors around them."

"As we came into 2014, you saw a lot more people thinking positively about the IPO market in the United States, and likewise, you saw the same thing in China," Ethridge said. "I think it will obviously depend on whether the IPO windows are there and if you are confident about launching (IPOs)."

So far, there have been seven Chinese companies having listed their shares in the U.S. stock market.

China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. filed its IPO in the United States on May 6. It is expected to be one of the largest stock listings in history.

"So I feel good about the way the market looks right now," Ethridge said.

Ethridge believes that the technology sector is expected to see the most Chinese companies' IPOs this year.

"If we are going to use the past as a harbinger of what we'll see in the future, then you have to say will be technology companies. Most of the companies we've seen from China have been technology-oriented, many of them internet-oriented. And so I would expect the same," he said.

Ethridge said one piece of advice he would give to Chinese companies planning to list stocks in the U.S. market is that "they need to be able to project their result and tell others how they will do in terms of their revenue profitability, and do it with confidence, and then actually beat those numbers."

Ethridge said that U.S. investors welcome Chinese companies " very much" judging from the growing number of China-based companies that went public in the U.S., their valuation and extraordinary performance after their IPOs.

"For the public investor, to see a country the size of China and that kind of growth rate on top of it is astounding, and I think that is always in the back of their mind," he said. "The question is will the company execute and how do they take advantage of that growth rate."

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