December 5, 2021

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Coronavirus vaccine developer CanSino offers shares in China’s second-most expensive initial public offering

CanSino Biologics, the Tianjin-based pharmaceutical producer that is conducting human trials on its coronavirus vaccine, has set the second-highest price in its secondary listing on the Shanghai Star Market.

The company priced its A shares at 209.71 yuan (US$29.96) each, opening them for subscription on Friday, CanSino said in an exchange filing. Its stock jumped by as much as 13 per cent on the Hong Kong stock exchange to an intraday record of HK$277.40 after the news, before ending the day at HK$265.

The offer price for CanSino’s secondary listing made it the second-most expensive initial public offering in China, as the nation’s tentative signs of economic growth fuelled optimism and sparked an almost 8 per cent rally this year in Asia’s largest capital market.

Traders are also optimistic that a successful vaccine for Covid-19, which has infected about 17 million people globally, will significantly transform the pharmaceutical company which had been unprofitable for the past three years.

Coronavirus vaccine for COVID-19 developed by China’s CanSino Biologics. Photo: CanSino Biologics alt=Coronavirus vaccine for COVID-19 developed by China’s CanSino Biologics. Photo: CanSino Biologics

CanSino’s 2019 loss widened 13.3 per cent to 156.8 million yuan, according to its prospectus. Its offer price is only lower than Beijing Roborock Technology, a maker of smart vacuum cleaners that sold its IPO shares for 271.12 yuan apiece in February.

Shares of Beijing Roborock peaked on the first day of trading after an 84 per cent jump and are currently down 22 per cent from that level.

 

Co-Founder of CanSino Biologics Qiu Dongxu delivers a speech on the progress of company’s coronavirus vaccine candidate at the China Anti-viral Drug Innovation Summit, in Suzhou, Jiangsu province on July 11, 2020. Photo: Reuters alt=Co-Founder of CanSino Biologics Qiu Dongxu delivers a speech on the progress of company’s coronavirus vaccine candidate at the China Anti-viral Drug Innovation Summit, in Suzhou, Jiangsu province on July 11, 2020. Photo: Reuters

CanSino’s Hong Kong shares have soared 350 per cent so far this year, on optimism that its vaccine is making progress.

The Ad5-nCov vaccine for Covid-19, being developed with the Chinese military’s research unit, has completed the phase-two trial and the phase-three one is expected to start soon.

The results of the second-phase trial, which was tested in 508 healthy adults, were positive, CanSino said last week. The vaccine, which uses a genetically modified human adenovirus to carry the genetic code for Covid-19 proteins to the body, induced neutralising antibody responses to the novel virus.

CanSino plans to sell 24.8 million shares on the Star Market, which would help the company raise about US$600 million to build a manufacturing base, fund the research on vaccines, build cold-storage logistic and information technology systems and replenish working capital, CanSino said. 

Losses will probably narrow to 100.7 million yuan this year at CanSino, based on Bloomberg’s average estimate of five analysts. Its Hong Kong-listed shares may fall to HK$169.56 in the following 12 months, implying a 36 per cent decline from the current level, the data showed.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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