Why Hong Kong's IPO lock-up rule should go

The six-month lock-up that cornerstone investors face with IPOs hurts liquidity, deters proper screening, and distorts share prices, bankers and advisers increasingly argue.

Hong Kong’s stock market is well known around the world for its high levels of liquidity and free float of shares but the situation is worsening, at least among new listings.

The city is home to a large group of Chinese issuers from a wide variety of industries, some of which clearly have good equity stories and immense growth potential. 

Yet these shares seldom trade strongly immediately after they are listed. For a growing number of bankers and advisors, the blame for this lies with the city's regime for initial public offerings.

Much of the criticism stems from the recent unwelcome tendency by...

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