Analysis

Asia's renowned dealmaker expects bumper harvest for SPACs in Hong Kong

, Bloomberg

Jason Wong, one of the first financiers to file for a SPAC listing in Hong Kong, said at least 40 SPACs may list in the city this year. 

Wong, dubbed by local media as “the godfather of SPACs in Asia,” said he’s seeing a ton of interest from Chinese dealmakers looking to start their own special purpose acquisition companies in the financial hub. While Hong Kong’s first SPAC was hurt by the recent market turmoil, there will be “huge” demand from promoters to launch more offerings if sentiment improves, Wong said. 

Wong filed in February for a potential Hong Kong initial public offering of Ace Eight Acquisition Corp., which he started with his nephew and frequent collaborator Eugene Wong. They will look for targets in the Chinese biotech and technology, media and telecom sectors, according to a preliminary prospectus. 

There’s an “enormous pool” of good companies for Hong Kong SPACs to acquire due to the long time it takes to sell shares in the mainland stock market, according to Eugene Wong, who’s chief executive officer of Ace Eight Acquisition. It’s also become tougher for Chinese companies to list in New York, and Hong Kong regulators have clamped down on backdoor listings in the city.

The timing is challenging for newcomers in Hong Kong, with pressures ranging from increasing interest rates to Russia’s war in Ukraine and high volatility in Chinese stocks. Unlike other markets, Hong Kong regulators restrict SPAC trading to professional investors, potentially curbing liquidity. 

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