Chinese IPO indicates some recovery in US drought

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In another sign the IPO market may be recovering, the largest online provider of spot commodity trading services in China began trading Wednesday.

Yintech Investment Holdings (YIN) priced at $13.50 a share at the midpoint of the $12.50 to $14.50 range, with an offering of 7.5 million American depositary shares. The stock opened at $13.80 a share, according to FactSet, and spiked more than 3.5 percent in initial trade before closing unchanged. 

"The first Chinese IPO getting done says the market is improving and more open to new issues, even from a Chinese IPO," said Kathleen Smith, principal and manager of IPO-focused ETFs at Renaissance Capital.

The Renaissance IPO ETF (IPO), which tracks performance of IPOs, is down about 20 percent over the last 12 months but tracking for monthly gains of more than 4 percent.

"Although China is worrying for many, our work on Yintech [shows] Chinese investors love trading. Commodities, it's a new thing they've been able to do recently," Smith said.

In the last year, many Chinese firms have chosen to delist from U.S. exchanges and attempt a return to Chinese markets, especially during the sharp rally in A shares early last year. Since then, the rapid collapse of the Chinese mainland markets has made investing in China less attractive.

"On the Nasdaq, we feel we have an investor base who really understand what we're doing," Yintech CFO Jingbo Wang said.

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For Yintech, Wang said the company has been considering an IPO for the past year and a half. He told CNBC in an interview that the company chose the United States because the process is much quicker than in China.

Yintech said it is the leader of a very fragmented market with about 4 percent market share. Speculative activity in China's industrial metals futures has surged, supporting a rise in prices, according to Wind Information. But Yintech said it is less affected because it focuses on spot prices in precious metals, primarily gold and silver.

Meanwhile, volatility in the Chinese yuan would affect trading "to some extent because right now gold and silver prices, the price formation process still happens in Western markets," Wang said.

U.S. listed IPO volume has fallen 55 percent year-on-year, but issuance has picked up with this week marking the fourth straight week with at least one IPO pricing, the longest run since early September 2015, according to Dealogic.

Red Rock Resorts (RRR) also began trading on the Nasdaq Wednesday, the second largest U.S.-listed IPO and the biggest IPO on the Nasdaq so far in 2016, Dealogic said. Red Rock opened at $18.50, down from its pricing last night at $19.50, and closed 4.1 percent lower.

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According to Renaissance, the last IPO of 2015 was also a Chinese company, a very small market-cap peer-to-peer lender called Yirendai (YRD).

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