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By Scott Murdoch and Donny Kwok
HONG KONG (Reuters) -Bilibili Inc, which is backed by Alibaba Group, tumbled as much as 6.8% in its Hong Kong stock debut on Monday as analysts said a U.S. regulatory crackdown on listed foreign firms hit enthusiasm for the Chinese online video site.
It was the worst start in the city in six months by a major stock listing. Bilibili debuted down 2.2%, was sold off to as low as HK$753 and headed into the afternoon trading session down 2.7%. It raised HK$20.2 billion ($2.6 billion) after pricing shares at HK$808 each last week.
Bilibili's fall came despite a positive tone in Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index which rose 0.4% by midday after opening in negative territory. The Hang Seng Tech Index fell 0.9%.
The debut is the worst by a major deal in Hong Kong since Yum China Holdings Inc shares lost 6.3% at the open in September after it raised $2 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
Aequitas Research director Sumeet Singh, who publishes on Smartkarma, said Bilibili's share drop was linked to a selloff underway in most U.S.-listed Chinese companies as a result of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) move to press ahead with plans to delist foreign companies which don't meet U.S. auditing standards.
"Bilibili's ADR appears to have been caught up in the correction leading to the ADRs trading below the Hong Kong secondary listing price," he said. Bilibili ADRs are down 8.4% since the SEC announced the news last week.
One Bilibili Hong Kong share is equal to one of its American Depositary shares, according to the firm's filings, which analysts said closely links the share price performance of the company on both exchanges.
Bilibili sold 25 million shares in the Hong Kong offering and its filings show Alibaba bought more than a third of the stock on offer, taking its holdings to 8.2% of the company.
There has been about $25 billion worth of secondary listings in Hong Kong since the start of 2020, according to Refinitiv.
UBS's head of global banking China Mandy Zhu said the number of so-called 'home coming listings' would continue to rise in Hong Kong. The Swiss bank was a joint sponsor of the Bilibili listing in Hong Kong.
"The advantages of a secondary listing in Hong Kong include relatively manageable regulatory process and time frame, ability to attract more Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong investors as well as efficient capital raising process," Zhu said
"Given the current uncertainty of the Sino-U.S. environment, a secondary listing in Hong Kong could also represent an extra layer of financing channel."
(Reporting by Scott Murdoch and Donny Kwok in Hong Kong; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Muralikumar Anantharaman)