The Hong Kong Stock Exchange
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Image Credit: AP

CALB Co., a Chinese battery supplier for electric vehicle makers, was unchanged in its trading debut in Hong Kong on Thursday as it tests appetite for the sector one week after an EV producer's disastrous debut in the city.

Shares opened at HK$38 each, the price they were sold at in the offering. The Jiangsu-based company raised about HK$10.1 billion ($1.3 billion) after selling shares at the bottom of a marketed range that went as high as $51.

The IPO drew 15 cornerstone investors who agreed to purchase around $735.5 million worth of stock.

The listing is the third-largest in the Asian financial hub this year. Its first session is certain to be watched closely by investors after electric-vehicle maker Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology Co. slumped 34% in its first day of trade on Sept. 29 following a $800 million offering.

It capped the biggest first-day decline on record for a listing of that size or bigger in the city.

IPO proceeds in Hong Kong are down nearly 75% for the year, and half of the 18 companies that listed since January after raising more than $100 million ended their initial session below water, Bloomberg data show. CALB shares slipped in gray-market trading in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Only about 20% of CALB shares that were available to retail investors ended up being subscribed in the IPO, according to a statement this week, while the tranche for international funds was "moderately oversubscribed."

Huatai International Ltd. is the sole sponsor of CALB's Hong Kong IPO.