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Quirky IPOs make a splash in Hong Kong

Published on Feb 16, 2014 1:55 PM

HONG KONG (AFP) - Nightclubs with diamante toilets, luxury cemeteries and local restaurants have made a splash during their debuts on Hong Kong's stock exchange, proving particularly popular among "mom and pop" investors squeezed out of more mainstream openings.

Investing in unconventional companies can be something of a gamble. But recent soaring debuts in Hong Kong - known as initial public offerings (IPOs) - show significant enthusiasm among ordinary investors hoping to make a quick return on the stock exchange's less orthodox offerings, analysts say.

In a city where betting is strictly limited to the horses and some soccer matches, and where the average punter often loses out to institutional investors in the more mainstream IPOs, quirky debuts offer everyday investors an exciting, if somewhat risky, opportunity to dabble on the city's stock exchange.

"Hong Kong, mainland China even more, are in the sort of gambling mentality. There is always somebody willing to take your money if you are willing to give it to them," Mr Doug Young, a Shanghai-based writer on capital markets and Chinese corporates, told AFP.

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