iBonds rake in $39b after Ant's IPO fiasco

Finance | Winnie Lee 6 Nov 2020

The seventh series of Hong Kong's inflation-linked retail bonds pulled in close to HK$39 billion with the 460,000 subscribers each expected to be allotted three to four board lots.

Subscriptions for the seventh batch of iBonds ended yesterday, with the oversubscribed issue pulling in $38.9 billion.

The amount this year was 73 percent higher than the previous issue in 2016, when the sixth batch received HK$22.53 billion subscriptions.

The increase was attributed to investors opting for the bonds after Ant's initial public offering was scrapped.

The government adjusted upward the minimum interest rate to 2 percent and increased the total issue to HK$15 billion.

In 2012, the second batch of iBonds pulled in HK$49.34 billion while in 2015, 597,000 people invested in the fifth batch of iBond, which is still a record.

Several banks and brokers indicated iBond sales this time round were better than in previous years and the subscription amount had surpassed the record of the sixth batch of iBonds in 2016.

BOC Hong Kong (2388) said it received a record subscription amount and that the response had been overwhelming, exceeding the bank's previous highest total in 2012.

BOC Hong Kong had launched a new mobile banking channel this year to facilitate customer subscriptions and the proportion of subscriptions through electronic channels rose significantly to more than 70 percent.

An HSBC spokesperson said: "HSBC has seen robust response to the latest iBond subscriptions. The total value of subscription almost doubled from 2016, along with a higher number of applications. In terms of value, around 75 percent of applications came through our digital channel."

The new iBonds will be issued on November 16 and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange the following business day.



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