How high is high for AMTD Digital?

August 03, 2022 10:46
Photo: Reuters/AMTD/EJI

Well, if you are lucky enough to get a piece of AMTD Digital, a US-listed Chinese Fintech initial public offering rather unknown in the investment world but suddenly became as big as Alibaba Group in term of market capitalisation.

No kidding. AMTD Digital, traded under stock code HKD with a lucky debut price of US$7.8, has basically doubled in value every trading day in the last five trading sessions.

It came at a time when investors are skeptical about investing in Chinese companies listed in the United States in the most sensitive time between the world’s two largest economies.

For the record, it is not for the easily fainted investors. AMTD Digital closed at US$1,679 Tuesday, up 214 times from its humble debut price on 15 July when it was first listed.

The stock price went as high as US$2,555.3, up some 327 times in what some commentators could only describe as a “meteoric rise”.

At that level, AMTD Digital was valued at over US$470 billion, bigger than Tencent Holdings which has long been the bellwether of the tech sector.

In 2016, former UBS banker.Choi took over the parent company AMTD Group founded by CK Hutchison in 2003.

AMTD aspires to be a fintech play by making investments most notably in Airstar bank, which it co-owned with Xiaomi Corp.

The Securities & Future Commission is seeking to ban Choi for two years for professional misconduct, though he has appealed, according to reports.

That probably explains why Choi did not choose to spin off AMTD Digital in Hong Kong.

No one exactly comes up with a good reason how AMTD Digital could sustain a price-earning ratio of over 5,000 times. A more reasonable explanation for the piece surge is a relatively small outstanding number of shares of 185 million shares, subjecting the stock to wild swings and manipulation because of the limited supply.

The company cannot come up with an explanation either. AMTD Digital said in a statement that it appreciated the support of the investment community as its shares "are still undergoing our initial stabilization."

"To our knowledge, there are no material circumstances, events nor other matters relating to our company's business and operating activities since the IPO date," the company said.

We are not sure, but will definitely be cautious, on what might happen next after an unprecedented price surge but we know for sure the Newton physics rule of what goes up must go down also applies to stocks.

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EJ Insight writer