International investors including BlackRock and Fidelity are anchoring a boom in Hong Kong biotech listings, with Chinese healthcare companies raising a record $21.1 billion from share offerings in the city this year, reported the Financial Times.
Hong Kong is seeking to supplant New York’s Nasdaq as the world’s largest biotech fundraising center by 2025. The rush of interest from western investors follows reforms two years ago that allowed biotech groups with no revenue to go public in the Asia finance hub for the first time, said the FT.
Those listings have been backed by so-called cornerstone investors from the US and elsewhere, which in return for a large allocation agree not to sell their shares within six months following an initial public offering.
This year, non-Asian cornerstone investors have on average bought up a record 46% of the shares of each biotech IPO in Hong Kong, according to Dealogic. That compares with 10.5% in 2019.