(Yicai Global) Jan. 3 -- Listing reforms and delayed 2017 offerings could see Hong Kong bounce back to regain its spot as the world's largest initial public offering market this year, PricewaterhouseCoopers said.
The special administrative region's IPO market could pull in between HKD200 billion (nearly USD26 billion) and HKD250 billion in 2018, the global consultancy forecast in a report published yesterday.
Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Ltd., which runs the city's board, said on Dec. 15 that it was drafting rule changes to introduce dual-class shares, international news agency Reuters reported. The exchange plans to open the amendments up to public opinion in the first quarter of this year.
The value of IPOs in Hong Kong fell 34 percent last year to HKD128.2 billion, ranking the bourse third worldwide, behind New York and Shanghai. Some 174 companies went public in Hong Kong, of which 80 listed on the main board. The number of new firms floating on the Growth Enterprise Market grew by nearly 80 percent to 80 to set a new high.
The mainland market saw 437 companies go public over the same period, increasing fundraising by 56 percent to CNY235 billion (USD36 billion). PwC predicts the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets will retain steady growth this year, with 300 to 350 companies raising between CNY180 billion and CNY200 billion.