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Expand chart
Adapted from a Caixin article via Dealogic; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

While American companies were returning hundreds of billions of dollars to shareholders, for Chinese companies the flows went in the other direction, Caixin's Yang Ge reports.

Driving the news: They raised an astonishing amount of money in 2018 — some $45.6 billion in Hong Kong and New York alone. That's more than double the $19.2 billion raised in 2017; it's also more than double the $20.7 billion raised in Chinese domestic IPOs.

  • Cellular tower operator China Tower Corp raised $7.5 billion in August. By contrast, the biggest U.S. IPO of 2018, Axa Equitable, raised just $2.75 billion.
  • There's still a healthy pipeline of Chinese companies looking to go public in 2019, although a bear market and/or a trade war could derail those plans.

Be smart: A lot of the money piling into these IPOs is entirely speculative, and that pool of liquidity can dry up as fast as it appeared. Chinese individual investors are being hit by a wave of shadow-banking defaults, and high-profile startups, especially in the scooter-sharing space, are running aground.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.

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