The world’s biggest luggage maker, Samsonite International, dropped 11% in its Hong Kong trading debut on Thursday, June 16.
Samsonite’s fall underscored tepid investor appetite for initial public offerings as global markets struggle.
The U.S.-based firm’s slump is the latest in a string of weak Asian IPO performances from companies including MGM China and commodities trader Glencore. It also bodes ill for the impending share sale of Italian fashion house Prada.
However, Chief Executive Officer Timothy Parker remained upbeat about Samsonite’s performance in the markets.
“Well I think in a way it wasn’t quite at the bottom of the price range and that was actually not a bad place to be considering, as I said, where markets are at the moment, which I think you’ll agree is in a pretty tough place.”
Parker said he does not believe the relatively high prices of Samsonite luggage will hit sales in China.
“I don’t believe so. I think there are certainly price pressures in China but we’re not seeing any reduction in the level of growth of our sales at the moment. And of course, everybody in China is travelling more and more, and every time they travel they need, guess what? Luggage.”
The 101-year old brand is joining companies such as L’Occitane and Coach that have targeted Hong Kong to raise their profile among Asian consumers and tap deep-pocketed investors to fund expansion in the region.
Bottom line: Samsonite falls 11% in its Hong Kong trading debut after several recent IPOs struggled or shelved plans in difficult current market conditions.