Shanghai Film Shares Rise on IPO

  • Shanghai Film Group went public on Wednesday, valuing the company at $827 million.
  • The IPO follows the successful bow of China Film Co. on the same bourse a week earlier.
  • The Shanghai Municipality-controlled film company will use the proceeds to build cinemas and improve online services.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange, where Shanghai Film Group shares debuted on Wednesday.

Shanghai Film Group, one of the largest film production companies in China, saw its stock prices climb 44 percent on its first day of trading Wednesday, just one week after China Film Co. did the same in its own initial public offering (IPO).

With an offering price of RMB 10.19 (US$1.54), the Shanghai-listed stock climbed to RMB 14.67 in early trading on Wednesday in Shanghai ($2.21), valuing the Shanghai municipal government-controlled company at RMB 5.5 billion ($827 million).

The stock follows the historic listing last week of China Film Co., which marked the largest share float in the history of the Chinese entertainment industry. Since then, China Film has continued to rise to the daily limit every single trading day, doubling its price.

China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television Vice Minister, Tong Gang joined Shanghai Film Group head Ren Zhonglun in ringing the opening bell to mark the company’s IPO. Also in attendance were actress Zhang Ziyi, actress and director Zhao Wei, as well as directors Wong Kar-wai and Jia Zhangke.

Founded in 2001, Shanghai Film distributes movies and operates cinemas in China and is one of the country’s largest state-backed entertainment conglomerates. This week’s IPO represents a significant milestone for the company that was once a broke and destitute state-owned entity.

The company said it will use the funds to build new cinemas, as well as upgrade existing cinemas, computer systems, and online services.

Speaking at the opening, Shanghai Film head Ren Zhonglun said the company would, “in accordance with the requirements of General Secretary Xi Jinping,” “pass on Shanghai’s glory” and become a “stronger, better, and bigger state-owned enterprise.”

The IPOs come as many analysts predict China will overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest box office next year- even after the market faced from its first drop in five years during the second quarter. Ticket sales are poised to increase 22 percent to $10.4 billion next year, according to average projections at IHS Markit and PricewaterhouseCoopers, reports Bloomberg.