Cancer drug developer delays launch of HK listing

Hutchison China MediTech Ltd., a cancer drug developer backed by billionaire Li Ka-shing, is delaying the launch of its Hong Kong share sale that could raise about USD500 million, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company is looking for an appropriate window to kick off the deal amid recent market uncertainties, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The massive protests in Hong Kong against an unpopular China-backed extradition legislation also contributed to investor unease, one of the people said. The company had initially planned to sell shares in June, according to another person.

Hutchison Chi-Med, already listed in London and the U.S., has a market value of $3.5 billion. A representative for the company declined to comment on the delay.

CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. had planned to cut its stake in the drugmaker to less than 50% from 60.2%, according to a statement to the London stock exchange on April 15. The listing would help improve liquidity and strengthen the company’s access to capital, it said.

Hong Kong equities market has been in turmoil as an escalating trade war between China and the U.S. casts a shadow over the city’s economic outlook. The benchmark Hang Seng Index has fallen about 9% in the past two months, among the worst in Asia Pacific. MDT/Bloomberg

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