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Thursday, April 08, 2021, 14:42
Trip.com seeks up to US$1.4b Hong Kong second listing
By Bloomberg
Thursday, April 08, 2021, 14:42 By Bloomberg

A smartphone with the Trip.com app is seen on the screen in Hong Kong, July 30, 2018. (S3STUDIO / GETTY IMAGES ASIAPAC VIA BLOOMBERG)

Online travel platform Trip.com Group Ltd. is seeking to raise as much as HK$10.5 billion (US$1.4 billion) in a Hong Kong second listing, adding to the growing cohort of US-traded Chinese mainland companies selling shares in the Asian financial hub.

Nasdaq-listed Trip.com is offering 31.6 million shares, according to a statement Wednesday. It has set a maximum price of HK$333 for the portion of the deal reserved for Hong Kong retail investors. That price translates into more than a 6 percent premium to the company’s closing price in New York on Tuesday, prior to the announcement.

Trip.com is the fourth US-listed mainland firm to seek a trading foothold in Hong Kong this year

Trip.com’s American depositary shares closed 3.4 percent lower on Wednesday, giving the firm a market value of US$23.3 billion.

The company plans to price the offering April 13 Hong Kong time, according to the statement. One of Trip.com’s ADS is equivalent to one ordinary share.

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Trip.com is the fourth US-listed mainland firm to seek a trading foothold in Hong Kong this year. Search giant Baidu Inc., video streaming service Bilibili Inc. and car sales website Autohome Inc. raised a combined US$6.4 billion in the first quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The companies have been flocking to Hong Kong as a way to hedge against the risk of being kicked off US exchanges as a result of rising Sino-US tensions, as well as to bring in more Asia-based investors. Last year, such second listings raised US$17 billion.

Still, Trip.com’s share sale in the city comes as tech shares globally are losing their shine. Investors are rotating out of richly valued growth stocks into ones that are expected to benefit from a recovery of the global economy.

Baidu has dropped 12 percent from its listing price in Hong Kong, while Bilibili’s second-listing shares have risen 8.2 percent after a lackluster debut which saw them close below their offer price.

READ MORE: IPO mania fizzles in Hong Kong as mega first-day pops fade

Trip.com, which owns travel search website Skyscanner, reported revenue of 18.3 billion yuan (US$2.8 billion) last year, a 49 percent drop year-on-year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to its prospectus. It lost 3.27 billion yuan in 2020 after making a profit of almost 7 billion yuan in 2019. While a recovery in international travel has been slow as the pandemic eases, travel within the mainland has rebounded thanks to its relative success in containing COVID-19.

The company plans to use the proceeds from the listing to fund the expansion of its travel offerings, improve user experience and invest in technology.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., China International Capital Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are joint sponsors for Trip.com’s listing. HSBC Holdings Plc and CMB International Capital Ltd. are also helping lead the deal as joint global coordinators, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday.

ICBC International Securities Ltd., BOC International Holdings Ltd., CCB International Holdings Ltd., ABC International Holdings Ltd., DBS Group Holdings Ltd., Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Haitong International Securities Group Ltd. and Nomura Holdings Inc. are joint bookrunners, the filing shows.

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