Huatai Securities Hong Kong IPO
World's second biggest IPO this year fails to sizzle. Reuters

Asia's largest listing this year, Huatai Securities's debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange was not as robust as was expected and defied the 11% gains its shares logged in grey market trade last week.

Huatai Securities (HTSC), China's largest stock brokerage by trading volume, finished 5.04% higher at HK$26.05 (£2.21, €3.07, $3.36) on its debut on 1 June. Nanjing-based Huatai, controlled by the Jiangsu provincial government, sold 1.4 billion shares at HK$24.80 apiece, raising $4.5bn (£2.96bn, €4.11bn).

Analysts ascribed the below par performance partly to retail investors, who own 70% of the shares, looking to cash-in on the first-day of trading.

In addition, overall sentiment could have been tempered by recent comments from China's central bank, which said last week that it wants to see a "healthy stock market" and warned of a slowing economy and rising debt levels.

Analysts, however, said there is further momentum to go on the HTSC stock, which is the world's second-largest initial public offering (IPO) this year after the $4.8bn listing of Spanish airport operator Aena in Madrid in February.

...I would recommend all my clients to sell at 15%-20% [gains]...
- Jackson Wong of United Sumsen Securities

Jackson Wong, associate director at United Sumsen Securities, told CNBC: "I was expecting [gains of] 13%-20%. A lot of investors were expecting it to open at about HK$28-29.

"Retail investors are in for a quick buck, and I think they were disappointed today. I would recommend all my clients to sell at 15%-20% [gains], so probably not today."

Christie Ju, head of research of Hong Kong/China at Jefferies, told the news channel: "Huatai is already the largest brokerage firm by market share in terms of daily trading and the outlook for them is very strong. They have probably one of the strongest online platforms and that's the reason why they have gained market share very significantly."

HTSC is the latest flotation hoping to profit from the rally in the Chinese equity markets this year.

The Hang Seng index has gained some 17.42% so far this year, while the benchmark Shanghai Composite index has surged 49%, despite a dramatic sell off last week, partly driven by margin financing.