Sino Biopharmaceutical issued its first €750 million (US$854.5 million) zero coupon convertible bonds due 2025 on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) in February with legal experts talking up the prospects for the sector.
“Clinical trials usually take a particularly long time to finish and the costs can be significantly high,” Zhen Yueneng, a partner at Tian Yuan Law Firm who advised on the deal, told China Business Law Journal. “The issuance reaffirms Hong Kong’s status as a major fundraising centre for biopharma companies globally.”
Since HKEx introduced the Chapter 18A regime, which allows the listing of pre-revenue biotech companies, in 2018, eight companies have accomplished their IPOs in Hong Kong and raised HK$23.5 billion (US$3.02 billion) by September 2019, according to a HKEx report.
Ivy Wong, the Asia-Pacific chair of Baker McKenzie’s capital markets practice, told China Business Law Journal: “We have also seen an increase in startups and innovative tech initiatives in the region in this sector in recent years, and this is likely to continue to grow, given the increase in global awareness of human health and wellbeing.”