Bloomberg reports that while the end of the lockup has the potential to put additional pressure on the stock price, owners such as Goldman Sachs, which now has a stake worth about $900m, face a dilemma: whether to sell now and realize a smaller profit or sit tight and risk further losses.
'It's not as if they have to sell all their holdings the moment the market opens', said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group, who rates the stock a buy. 'They want to be rational about this'.
Still, over the coming nine months, about 1.91 billion shares will be freed up, compared with fewer than 500 million now available for trading. That flood of shares is a deterrent for some potential buyers, said Herman Leung, an analyst at Susquehanna International Group, said.
'It’s one of the No. 1 issues on investors’ minds right now', Leung said. 'Even the investors that I talk to who want to buy the stock and like the company are not sure if they can stomach the lockups'.
In the meantime, Reuters reports that HSBC won a legal bid on Monday to have members of the Occupy Hong Kong movement evicted from the open-air plaza beneath the bank's Asian headquarters, bringing an end to one of the longest-running Occupy demonstrations.
The Hong Kong protests, sparked by the Occupy Wall Street movement that targeted U.S. financial policies blamed for the income gap between rich and poor, spanned a period of growing resentment in this city of 7 million people against perceived cozy ties between the government and big business.
image: © West McGowan