SenseTime jumps 23% in Hong Kong debut

SenseTime Group shares jumped as much as 23% from their IPO price as they debuted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The Chinese artificial intelligence start-up raised $740 million in its initial public offering and priced its shares at HK$3.85 each, at the bottom of the range flagged.

The deal valued SenseTime at $16.4 billion, while gains in the first trading session added up to $3.8 billion to the market capitalisation.

The stock reached a high of HK$4.74, in a broader market that was up just 0.19%.

Some 177.4 million SenseTime shares worth HK$759 million changed hands, the second most actively traded by turnover in value terms for the day, following Tencent Holdings.

SenseTime sold 1.5 billion shares in the IPO.

It shelved its first attempt on Dec. 13 after it was placed on the U.S. blacklist just as the institutional book build for the deal was being concluded.

The U.S. Treasury added SenseTime to a list of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies” on Dec. 10, accusing it of having developed a facial recognition programme to determine ethnicity, with a focus on identifying ethnic Uyghurs.

SenseTime relaunched the deal on Dec. 20, but with a higher cornerstone investor stake.

Cornerstone shareholders, all Chinese institutions, bought about 67% of the stock on offer in the IPO, up from the 58% stake flagged in the company’s first attempt.

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