One head, many voices

Half Pilgrim’s Progress, half Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Wednesday’s wonderfully crackers blog entry from Hong Kong Exchange chief executive Charles Li is sure to up the hit count, and raise a few smiles.

It’s all too easy to get lost in Li’s winding, dreamscape narrative, where imaginary characters (Mr Innovation, Ms Practical, Mr Righteous and others) battle it out to decide whether the stock market operator should bend to the will of a prospective new listing candidate (ie Alibaba). At times it feels like 12 Angry Men, but played out by the colourful inhabitants of Sesame Street or the Mr Men series. And all in the arena of a sleeping Li’s brain. Read more

It’s tempting to think that the Hong Kong IPO market is finally back to good health. Two $1bn+ deals have been completed in the past few days and on Wednesday, one of them shot up on its debut.

But don’t pop the champagne just yet. While the deals got done, they did so with a lot of legwork. And its too early to tell whether they will ultimately offer much reward for investors. Read more

Hong Kong, as we know, didn’t exactly have the best of year in 2012 when it came to initial public offerings. The city, which topped the global IPO charts from 2009 to 2011, suffered the ignominy of being relegated to fourth place last year, only narrowly beating Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.

But could change be afoot? Read more