Nasdaq bullish on listing climate despite 'winter time' concerns

Updated: 2015-09-30 07:13

By LI XIANG(China Daily)

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Nasdaq bullish on listing climate despite 'winter time' concerns

Robert McCooey Jr, vice-president for new listings and capital markets at Nasdaq. [Photo/China Daily]

Bourse confident that IPO pipeline will stay robust, says top official

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc, the United States-based multinational financial services corporation, said on Tuesday it remained confident on the listing business, despite growing concerns about prospects dulling for initial public offerings globally amid uncertain market conditions.

Robert McCooey Jr, Nasdaq's vice-president for new listings and capital markets, said that the IPO pipeline of the bourse remained strong and it is yet to see any company canceling its listing plan. Nasdaq OMX owns and operates the Nasdaq stock market and eight European bourses.

There are two to three Chinese companies that are planning to float new shares on the Nasdaq in the fall and none of them have signaled any intention to drop their plans, McCooey told a news conference in Beijing.

The ongoing turbulence in the global equities markets has led to concerns that the IPO market will likely experience a tougher time as the volatile market conditions may depress companies' valuations and even ruin their IPO plans.

The value of cross-border listings by Chinese companies dropped to $18.9 billion between January and September, down by 55.2 percent from the same period last year, according to data from Dealogic Ltd.

Globally, the number of IPOs in the third quarter of the year decreased by 55 percent from the level of the previous quarter, while the value of the new deals plunged sharply by 75 percent. Sixty-three companies canceled or postponed their IPO plans in the third quarter, according to a recent report by accounting firm EY.

Maria Pinelli, global vice-chair for initial public offering at EY, expected a continued sharp contraction in the number and value of IPOs in global markets due to the market turbulence.

But McCooey dismissed Pinelli's idea that the global capital-raising market may have entered a "winter time", adding that there are still many dollar-denominated private equity funds in the US that are looking to invest in high-growth Chinese companies which may have financing difficulties at home.

China's securities regulator has temporarily halted IPO approvals in an attempt to shore up the A-share market as the benchmark index fell by more than 40 percent in the past three months.

McCooey admitted that concerns about the slowing Chinese economy and the depreciation of the yuan are adding pressure on stock prices of both Chinese and US companies.

"US investors who have long seen China as the engine that drives the global economy are now adjusting themselves to the new reality of a slower Chinese economy," he said.

Equities slump due to growth concerns

Stock prices fell on Tuesday with trading volumes nosediving as slumping global commodity prices and growth concerns prompted heavy sell-offs.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index retreated by 2.02 percent to close at 3,038.14 points. The decline was mainly led by military, mining and resources companies.

The combined trading turnover at the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses stood at 420.9 billion yuan ($66.1 billion), less than one-fourth of the record turnover of 1.8 trillion yuan registered in April prior to the market crash.

The low turnover value indicated the "wait and see" attitude of investors ahead of the country's weeklong National Day holiday starting on Thursday, analysts said.

The steeper decline in industrial profits has also prompted investors to tune down their estimates on the profitability of Chinese companies, they said.

The correction of the A-share market on Tuesday followed a plunge in stock prices across major global markets in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Investors sentiment was weighed down by the over 30 percent decline in the share prices of global commodities group Glencore Plc. There have been rising concerns over the company's ability to meet its high debt obligations while its earnings have been battered by low commodity prices.