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Coronavirus

Coronavirus disrupts Chinese companies' IPO plans in Hong Kong

Travel bans in region hamper global investor meetings for share sales

A flag bearing the logo of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing in Hong Kong. Hong Kong was the world's largest equity-raising hub in 2019, boosted by the $13 billion secondary listing of Alibaba Group Holding.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong, the world's largest IPO market for four of the past five years, including 2019 and 2018, is bracing for a hit from the spreading coronavirus epidemic with mainland China-based aspirants deferring investor roadshows or delaying listing plans as travel bans in the region begin to bite.

Property manager Central China New Life is not bound to its initial timeline of a first-quarter $100 million listing in Hong Kong, and Shenzhen-based payment technology services company Yeahka is facing a similar predicament for its roughly $250 million initial public offering, according to people familiar with the two deals. InnoCare Pharma, which develops cancer and autoimmune treatments, has already delayed roadshows for its $200 million IPO, people familiar with the situation said.

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