Asian Markets: Another IPO flop

Stocks in Asia tumbled today with the Nikkei plunging 2.5 percent and the Hang Seng losing 2.8 percent. This brought the MSCI Asia Pacific Index to a new one-month low.

In Japan, shares plunged, despite news that Japan's jobless rate retreated last month and household spending has risen 2.6 percent from a year earlier. Carmakers lost ground after numbers showed weak September auto sales both at home and in the U.S.; Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMTOF) plummeted 4.1 percent, Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) dived 3.7 percent and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (HMC) lost 3.4 percent.

Despite the rise in household spending, retail stocks fell sharply with Takashimaya Co Ltd. (TKSHF) falling 3.9 percent, Aeon Mall Co. Ltd. (AMLLF) losing 3.7 percent and The Daiei Inc. dropping 3.4 percent. Seven & I Hldg., (SVNDY) the parent company of 7-Eleven, fell 2.5 percent. Shares in consumer electronics companies slid with Sony Corp, (SNE) which is heavily reliant on U.S. sales, losing 5 percent and Toshiba Corp. (TOSBF) slipping 4.1 percent. Canon Inc. (CAJ), Japan's biggest maker of office equipment, dropped 2.8 percent

Mining shares also nosedived after metal prices fell in London. Nippon Mining Holdings Inc. (NMHDF) slid 3.2 percent and Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co. (XZJCF) lost 2.7 percent.

In Hong Kong, yet another company suffered a disappointing debut on the Hang Seng. Glorious Holdings Ltd. plunged 15 percent in its first day of trading, making it the fifth in a string of disastrous Asian IPOs. "This is a mid-sized Chinese property company and has no special selling point," Andrew To, sales director of Tai Fook Securities told MSNBC. This is inauspicious news for billionaire Stephen Wynn, whose Hong Kong IPO of casino company Wynn Macau is scheduled for October 9th. He will surely be rooting for a quick change in investor sentiment, and hoping that his unique selling point of being the first foreign-controlled gaming company to list in Hong Kong will be enough to break this streak of IPO flops.

Also in Hong Kong, clothing retailer Esprit Holdings Ltd. (ESHDY), which reaps over 80 percent of its sales in Europe, plunged 5.2 percent and Li & Fung Ltd. (LFUGF), the biggest supplier of clothes and toys to Wal-Mart and Target in the U.S., lost 4.6 percent.

There were a few rays of hope in today's bleak market; Hong Kong-listed Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd. (YUEIY), which makes athletic shoes, rose 4.9 percent after analysts raised the stock's rating, and Real Gold Mining Ltd. gained 4 percent on predictions that the price of gold wil rise.

All-in-all, not a very golden week for Asian investors.
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