Brief China: DiDi Has Merged Its Way Through- Time for an IPO? and more

In this briefing:

  1. DiDi Has Merged Its Way Through- Time for an IPO?
  2. Notes from the Silk Road: Xtep Int’l Holdings (1368 HK): Profit Warning Comes as No Surprise
  3. Smoore International: Trading Well Over JUUL’s Peak Multiples
  4. China Internet Weekly (27Jul2020): Online Retail Continued to Accelerate in June
  5. The Global Autos Break Down, Though Tesla on Full Charge

1. DiDi Has Merged Its Way Through- Time for an IPO?

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It was reported on last week that DiDi Chuxing (1284375D CH) plans to go public, allowing existing investors want to cash out during a difficult time for the business. DiDi is backed by Softbank and is regarded as the Chinese version of Uber. Even before the pandemic, the company was struggling to generate profits and also had issues regarding the safety of passengers. The pandemic could have only made things worse for the company. At a time where ridesharing is avoided, DiDi wants to go public. If the news is true, the timing of the IPO indicates that DiDi is desperate for money. In this report, we take a look at the company, its background, growth prospects, and an estimated valuation. In our opinion, it is unlikely that the company will have an IPO in the current economic situation.

We go through the details below.

2. Notes from the Silk Road: Xtep Int’l Holdings (1368 HK): Profit Warning Comes as No Surprise

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In April 2020, we highlighted that the head winds for XTEP in H1 2020 were likely to be strong; our reasoning was that Chinese sportswear is not a priority item on the consumer’s discretionary spend list of the average consumer given the current climate. However, once conditions improve and confidence returns so should the attractiveness of the product. With the company having released its expected profit warning, as it heads into its black-out period, we ask is it time to revisit the stock?

3. Smoore International: Trading Well Over JUUL’s Peak Multiples

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Smoore International (6969 HK) is the global leader in the manufacturing of vaping devices and components, having a market share of 16.5% in 2019. The company raised HK$918 million in an IPO and started trading on 10th July, and in its first nine trading days, the shares have risen by 206.5% from the IPO offer price. On 22nd July, Smoore warned that, as a result of fair value changes for convertible preferred shares and promissory notes and share-based payments as detailed below, net profit for the six months to 30th June will decline by 94.% year-on-year.

It is surprising that these fair-value adjustments were not revealed or anticipated in the prospectus. With Smoore’s multiples now exceeding those of its infamous peer, JUUL during its peak, in the DETAIL below we give the case for taking some profits.

Company Disclosures

4. China Internet Weekly (27Jul2020): Online Retail Continued to Accelerate in June

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  • The growth rate of China online retail reached 19% YoY in June, higher than 15.6% YoY in May.
  • Chinese retailing e-commerce companies raised funds of RMB28.6 billion in 1H20, decreasing by 74.5% YoY.
  • Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security warned about “employee sharing”, which was started by Alibaba (BABA).

5. The Global Autos Break Down, Though Tesla on Full Charge

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  • Auto exposures are in decline among Global active investors.  Average holding weights are towards the lower end of the 9-year range, at 0.83%.  A record low of 49% of the 406 funds in our analysis have exposure to the Autos sector.
  • Fund activity over the last 6-months saw Global managers selling down stakes in Daimler AG (DAI GR) , Toyota Motor (7203 JP) and Ford Motor Co (F US) . Tesla Motors (TSLA US) and Volkswagen (Pref) (VOW3 GY) were the main bright spots as ownership levels grew over the period.
  • Overall, the auto industry is becoming increasingly unattractive to the average Global fund manager, with increases in Tesla Motors (TSLA US) exposure unable to counteract significant declines in ownership across the more traditional auto manufacturers.

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