Sigh of relief as Agricultural Bank gains 2.2% on day one

The fact that the stock didn't fall below issue price and there was no need to stabilise should be regarded as a positive sign.

The local press may have described the debut as lacklustre and disappointing, but for people involved in Agricultural Bank of China's ABC $19.2 billion initial public offering, the first trading day in Hong Kong on Friday mainly gave rise to a deep sigh of relief. The stock opened up, never fell below the IPO price and closed with a 2.2% gain. Even more importantly, bankers didn't have to buy back any of the overallotment shares to help stabilise the stock. In other words, there was demand for the stock at these levels.

This suggests that if global equity markets hold up over the next few weeks, the bank has a decent chance of being able...

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