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Chinese EV maker Leapmotor dives 42% on Hong Kong debut

AFP . Hong Kong
29 Sep 2022 15:15:40 | Update: 29 Sep 2022 15:23:05
Chinese EV maker Leapmotor dives 42% on Hong Kong debut
— Courtesy/Twitter

Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology suffered Hong Kong's worst trading debut so far this year, plunging more than 40 per cent on Thursday morning.

Leapmotor raised around $800 million earlier this month with an initial public offering that saw its shares sold for HK$48 ($6.11).

But on its first day of trading Thursday, it tumbled as much as 41.6 per cent to HK$28.05, the steepest first-day decline by a listing larger than $250 million in Hong Kong this year according to Bloomberg News.

Another Chinese company saw a disappointing start to trade on Thursday. 

Onewo Inc, the property management unit of real estate developer China Vanke, sank 7.9 per cent to HK$45.45 after raising around $739 million in its IPO.

Hong Kong used to be a bonanza location for Chinese IPOs with investors frequently seeing handsome spikes on the first day of trading.

But ongoing concerns about the state of China's economy under strict zero-Covid controls, combined with global market anxiety as the Federal Reserve turns increasingly hawkish to control spiralling inflation has hit Hong Kong's already troubled stock market.

Hong Kong has one of the worst performing major bourses, sliding steadily since February 2021. 

The Hang Seng Index, which tracks major companies, has lost more than 25 per cent so far this year. 

Half of the firms that have listed in the city so far this year and raised more than $100 million have fallen on their first day, according to Bloomberg News data. 

Founded in 2015, Leapmotor focuses on the mid to high-end EV market with a price range of 150,000 to 300,000 yuan ($21,400-$42,800).

China's electric car market is particularly competitive, with manufacturers jostling to take advantage of an industry boosted in recent months by generous purchase subsidies from local governments.

China's EV market is huge, covering everything from luxury vehicles to more affordable models.

Manufacturer Wuling last year sold 400,000 Mini EV vehicles, a mass market super compact with a price tag of $4,000. 

The best-selling European electric car is the Renault Zoe, of which 77,000 were sold last year.