Briefing: Tencent-backed brokerage firm downsizes US IPO amid weak market demand

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Tencent-backed brokerage Futu targets $130m in US listing – Nikkei Asian Review

What happened: Tencent-backed online brokerage firm Futu Securities has set the terms for its US initial public offering (IPO) to raise up to $130 million, which will value the company at more than $1 billion. The company previously set its target at as high as $300 million when it filed for the US listing in December.

Why it’s important: Futu Securities offers trading services for stocks listed in Hong Kong and the US. Such online financial companies have flourished as the government looks to breathe new life into the financial sector. However, as regulators tighten the reins on risky financial practices, pressure has been ratcheting on the financial sector for companies spanning online brokerage firms to peer-to-peer lending platforms. Increased regulator scrutiny has damped the appetite for risk, tempering investor confidence and market demand.

Chinese tech behemoth, Tencent, owns over 38% of the company, has shown interest in purchasing up to 25% of the new shares issued.