You wait for a bus, then three come at once

The difficulties of Hong Kong IPO''s for three Chinese outdoor advertising operators has got a promising sector off to an inauspicious start.

The completion of equity offerings this week for Media Nation and Media Partners International MPI has attracted widespread criticism after the two deals were restructured and priced at the bottom end of their respective indicative ranges. Not helped by the trading pattern of Clear Media, which listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at the end of last year, both companies found themselves battling each other as well as a falling stock market to secure a pricing advantage with investors.

Observers sum up the problem as too much paper from companies in a brand-new sector with broadly overlapping businesses that hide some crucial differences. The confusion this caused has also been...

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