Asia Markets

Budweiser APAC surges about 4% in its IPO, the second biggest debut in 2019

Key Points
  • Budweiser shares opened at 27.40 Hong Kong dollars ($3.49) a share, above its IPO pricing of HK$27 per share.
  • It was priced at the bottom of its expected range of between HK$27 and HK$30.
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Budweiser APAC shares jump in Hong Kong debut

Budweiser APAC opened higher by nearly 1.5% in its initial public offering in Hong Kong on Monday in the second largest IPO this year.

Its shares opened at 27.40 Hong Kong dollars ($3.49) a share, above its IPO pricing of HK$27 per share. It was priced at the bottom of its expected range of between HK$27 and HK$30.

It surged to close more than 4% higher to 28.2 Hong Kong dollars per share.

Budweiser APAC CEO Jan Craps said at the launch: "We are focused on growth, growth is what we set out to do ... Asia of course is the largest beer market in the world."

"We think we can do a lot of partnerships in Asia here, even if we're the largest brewer in Asia today, this is still a market where we have a lot of opportunities, in many markets where we're not leading ... as well," he continued, adding that the biggest markets in Asia for the company would be China, South Korea, India and Vietnam.

Budweiser APAC launched its IPO in Hong Kong on September 30 2019.
Patrick Allen | CNBC

Budweiser's debut was expected to be the second largest IPO globally this year after Uber's $8.1 billion listing in New York. In July, Anheuser-Busch InBev had tried for an IPO of its Asia business. However, it said it would not proceed, given "several factors, including the prevailing market conditions."

The listing comes as the months-long protests continue to rock Hong Kong, with its IPO market reportedly hit by the unrest.

"After shelving its attempt two months ago, the revival of Budweiser APAC's IPO provides a much needed boost for Hong Kong after anti-government protests and trade tensions deterred potential listings, including Alibaba's US$15 billion IPO which reportedly has been delayed," Refinitiv's Senior Analyst Elaine Tan told CNBC in an email.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba was said to have delayed its listing in Hong Kong — which was set to take place in August — due to the ongoing unrest.

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