File picture: REUTERS/DAVID W CERNY.
File picture: REUTERS/DAVID W CERNY.

Hong Kong — Right after Alibaba’s blockbuster $11bn listing in Hong Kong, consumer lender Home Credit formally scrapped its $1.5bn initial public offering (IPO) in the city, citing market conditions.

The cancellation of the share sale plan on Thursday comes as financial IPOs have dwindled in Hong Kong, partly on concerns about mounting signs of stress among small Chinese banks. Investors had pushed back against Home Credit’s targeted valuation because of a slowdown in its main markets including China and India, which could affect consumer sentiment, people familiar with the matter said.

Financial firms have raised $5.43bn in Hong Kong so far in 2019, a 9.5% decrease from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That extends a decline since 2015.

Financial deals have also accounted for an increasingly small proportion of overall listings in Hong Kong, shrinking by more than two thirds over the last three years amid concerns about soured loans in China.

Bank of Guizhou, which had been seeking to raise as much as $1bn in a Hong Kong IPO, began gauging investor demand in September, IFR reported, but did not launch the deal. It is now considering a launch in December, IFR reported on Friday, citing unidentified people close to the deal.

The Chinese government has mounted a crackdown on risky funding practices which has sent ripples through the country’s more than 3,000 small banks, many of which are grappling with a mountain of bad loans. That comes as the Chinese economy grows at its weakest pace since the early 1990s, a concern that had weighed on Home Credit’s IPO ambitions.

Home Credit’s IPO shelving is the third billion-dollar deal to be pulled in 2019 in Hong Kong, although two others — Budweiser Brewing and ESR Cayman — subsequently revived their offerings.

Bloomberg