China's Xiaomi: Smart phones, no smart IPO

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Some analysts say the share price offering of HK$17 ($2.17) was too high a valuation multiple for the company compared to its competitors like Apple, making the stock too expensive from the onset. The stock finally closed at HK $16.80 but dropped as low as HK $16 earlier in the day (a decrease of 5.88%).

By contrast, China Literature Ltd, the e-book arm of Chinese gaming and social media firm Tencent Holdings, late previous year raised US$1.1 billion for its Hong Kong IPO amid heavy demand, with the retail portion being 625 times oversubscribed.

Stocks in Hong Kong and Shanghai have taken heavy hits. "And they have to speed up the pace if they aim for a good valuation", said Hong Hao, the chief strategist at brokerage BOCOM International.

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Speaking at the ceremonial opening of trading, chairman Jun Lei noted the IPO comes at a time when financial markets have been roiled by U.S.

Lei Jun (center), Xiaomi's CEO with senior vice president Li Wanqiang (left) and executive director Lin Bin (right) ahead of the company's IPO.

Its shares fell Monday even though the broader Hong Kong market was up about 1.5%.

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At Monday's closing price the company had a market value of $53.3 billion.

China's Xiaomi, the world's fifth biggest seller of smartphones, made an underwhelming public debut after it hit the Hong Kong Stock Exchange amid concerns around an ongoing trade war between the USA and China.

The HK$17 price valued the company at 39.6 times its forecast 2018 earnings, while iPhone maker Apple is trading at 16 times and Chinese social media and gaming giant Tencent Holdings at 36.

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While the company makes more than 90 percent of its revenues from selling smartphones and other devices - through which it offers online services - it has pushed to be viewed as an internet-based company.

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