Daily BriefsMost Read

Most Read: Zomato, Bukalapak, Evergrande Real Estate Group, Singamas Container Holdings, Taiwan Stock Exchange Weighted Index and more

In today’s briefing:

  • Zomato IPO: Offering Details & Index Inclusion
  • Bukalapak IPO – Peers & Valuation – Betting on Its Potential
  • Evergrande’s Very Special… Special Dividend?
  • Singamas (716 HK): Q&A With The CFO
  • Taiwan: TWSE & Margin Balance at New Highs

Zomato IPO: Offering Details & Index Inclusion

By Brian Freitas

Zomato (ZOM IN) is a leading online food service platform that connects customers, restaurant partners and delivery partners. Zomato had 148,384 active food delivery restaurants and 169,802 active delivery partners during the month of March 2021 and on average 6.8m customers ordering food every month in fiscal 2021.

Zomato (ZOM IN)‘s IPO will open on 14 July and run till 16 July with an expected listing date of 27 July.

Zomato (ZOM IN) is looking to raise INR 93.75bn (~US$1.26bn) at a price range of INR 72-76/share valuing the company at close to US$8bn.

Moneycontrol has reported that the company has raised US$560m by allotting shares to Anchor Investors. This ties in with our calculations of 60% of the QIP portion being allotted to Anchor investors.

Given the allocation to anchor investors and the lock-up on those shares, we do not expect the stock to get Fast Entry to the MSCI and FTSE indices. Zomato (ZOM IN) could be included in the MSCI Standard index at the November SAIR while the stock could be added to the FTSE All-World index at the December QIR.

Entry to the NIFTY Index (NIFTY INDEX) and S&P BSE SENSEX Index (SENSEX INDEX) could come in the second half of 2022 at the earliest given that the stock will need to meet additional criteria to be a part of the index universe.


Bukalapak IPO – Peers & Valuation – Betting on Its Potential

By Zhen Zhou, Toh

Bukalapak (BUKA IJ) is looking to raise up to US$1.13bn in its Indonesia IPO.

Bukalapak (BUKA) is an Indonesian e-commerce company. The company operates an online consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace that connects buyers and sellers. The company also operates Mitra Bukalapak (Mitra) which provides online-to-offline (O2O) services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

In this note, we will look at assumptions, and share our thoughts on valuation.


Evergrande’s Very Special… Special Dividend?

By Travis Lundy

Evergrande Real Estate Group (3333 HK) shares rallied enormously sharply in 2017, moving from the mid single digits to HK$30+ by Q3 that year. That year the float in Evergrande was also sharply reduced by the purchases of shares by Chinese Estates Holdings (127 HK) and its owners. 

When the shares fell back after getting squeezed, Evergrande conducted a buyback which got them within a hair’s breadth of the residual minimum free float requirement mandated by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The shares stayed higher. 

Eventually, Evergrande saw more of the employee share options with low exercise prices exercised which increased the share count and float so when shares fell in 2020, the company could buy back shares, and it did so after shares fell to new 3yr lows in the covid-crash. It bought shares back from May to June, again reducing float to within a hair’s breadth of the free float limit, and in the period, shares rose ~50%. 

Then at the start of H2, with a press release about unaudited June sales results and how strong sales had been in H1, the shares popped 40% (from HK$20 to HK$28/share) in three days, then fell back over 6 weeks, going back below HK$20 when the company disclosed it was pre-selling stakes in its property management unit before the IPO, and three days later Evergrande actually issued a profit warning, just before releasing H1 results. 

Also in August, but undisclosed at the time, was the fact that several major real estate developers, including Evergrande, had been called on the carpet to discuss their participation in the so-called Three Red Lines pilot program (the three red lines are a liability-to-asset ratio excluding advanced receipts of 70%, net debt-to-equity ratio of 100%, and cash to short-term debt ratio at 1x). Companies which crossed one of three red lines could not increase interest-bearing borrowing by more than 10% in a year. Cross two of them and they were capped at 5% growth. Cross all three of them and the developer could not increase debt at all. This is tough when funding at HSD to 10+% interest rates are used to carry non-interest-earning land bank. But Evergrande “met” all three so needed to reduce debt and raise cash, discussed in Evergrande May Be Facing a Funding Squeeze

There was a story about a “letter”, later denied by the company, in September, discussing the importance of the local government helping Evergrande deal with its short-term funding issues, which included the issue of the buyback guarantee offered by Evergrande to minority shareholders of Evergrande’s major onshore operating unit Hengda. Evergrande denied the existence of the letter, but despite the fact some Hengda shareholders reportedly wanted out as listing was unlikely, somehow, with the local government’s help, Evergrande announced a new agreement meaning repayment in January 2021 wasn’t necessary. The shares popped and two weeks later Evergrande raised some capital (discussed in Evergrande Equity Placement – Musical Shares.

I had my ideas about WHY those shares were placed, and it was not to raise equity to pay down debt. The capital raised was less than expected despite the large discount and the shares quickly fell below placement price.  So just 3 weeks after raising equity, it started buying back shares, reasonably quickly raising the price above where it had sold shares. This was discussed in Evergrande Equity De-Placement: Musical Shares. Then a couple weeks later, we saw Evergrande Terminate Hengda’s Backdoor Listing so the story left was one of an optically “cheap” but heavily indebted developer, lowering selling prices to liquidate inventory, lower debt and raise cash levels, etc. There were sales of shares of recently listed subsidiaries. There were announcements of how much debt had been lowered.

But shares fell. 

There were stories in Chinese media and in social media about issues with the company’s trade acceptance bills. An article on Bloomberg.com a week ago reported that while Evergrande chairman Hui Ka Yan was in Beijing for the 100th anniversary celebrations 1 July, he met with the Financial Stability and Development Committee, which urged him to solve his company’s debt problems pronto. The article is worth reading. It suggested more worry at the top than thought, and even says FSDC officials had suggested bringing in strategic investors. Hui said he was speaking with local investors. 

Bonds have traded lower and lower and the 2024-2025 maturity bonds appear to be trading in the 60s, with shorter-dated bonds trading at 30+% yield to maturity.

Wednesday, the shares closed at HK$8.91 – lowest in four years. 

Yesterday, there was new news. 

The company announced a board meeting for 27 July where the Board would consider a special dividend. 

My first reaction was, I admit, one of surprise, but on second thought it should not be THAT surprising.

The immediate public comments I have seen suggested an attempt to squeeze shorts. Yes, according to data from the SFC, shorts have risen from levels near-matching covid-crash lows, and now stand at roughly 2.1% of shares out (a bit under 10% of float), but that would not do it.

The single most indebted real estate company in the world, with short-term bonds yielding risk-free-rate plus…. [checks notes] 30+%, where the chairman gets called onto the carpet of the highest financial regulator in China – not the PBOC, CSRC, or CBIRC – above them – urging him to Do Something – sell assets, lower debt, raise equity – deciding to pay a special dividend to its equity holders? 

I expect Hui Ka Yan has his reasons, and I expect those reasons do not include rewarding long-suffering minority shareholders. Or squeezing shorts. 


Singamas (716 HK): Q&A With The CFO

By David Blennerhassett

The conflation of a global pandemic, marginal air freight capacity, the Suez Canal blockage, Chinese port productivity curtailment due to Covid restrictions, a ten-fold increase in freight rates, and skyrocketing steel prices, has culminated in the mother-of-all sub-optimisation recipes.  

I’ve discussed this situation in Game Of Ports: China’s “Suez Blockage” Disruption, Squeeze Box: The Port Congestion Contagion, and Yang Ming Marine (2609 TT): Cargo Shipping In First Class.

Singamas Container Hldgs (716 HK) is the only listed pure-play container manufacturer.  The company announced a positive profit alert on the 12 March for FY20, followed by a further profit positive alert on the 30 June for its first half financials. The most recent announcement flagged net profit not less than US$50mn compared to Singamas’ then market cap of ~US$180mn.

Shares are up 35% in the last month and 169% in the past twelve months.

This week I had a chat with the Singamas’ CFO to get a better understand of the dynamics currently at work, and what to expect going forward.


Taiwan: TWSE & Margin Balance at New Highs

By Brian Freitas

The Taiwan Stock Exchange Weighted Index (TWSE INDEX) is 17.5% higher from its lows a couple of months ago. The margin balance is also at a new high and has risen by nearly US$3bn over the last 2 months.

At the same time, short notional has increased by US$3.7bn. Of the increase, only US$470m has come from new shorts being created while the rest is a result of higher stock prices.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange Weighted Index (TWSE INDEX) is one of the best performing Asian markets over the last year and could be susceptible to a pullback. The sharp increase in margin balance could lead to an equally sharp unwind that could lead to a repeat of the forced selling in May.

With geo-political tensions and the COVID19 variants still around, plus the higher margin balances, we would look to reduce long positions in Taiwan or put appropriate hedges in place to cushion the impact of a sharp selloff in markets.


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