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Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 23:02
Weibo hires banks for HK secondary listing, sources say
By Reuters
Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 23:02 By Reuters

In this undated photo, the Sina Corp Weibo microblog logo is arranged for a photograph in Hong Kong, China. (BRENT LEWIN / BLOOMBERG)

HONG KONG - Chinese social media platform Weibo Corp has appointed Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and CLSA to work on its planned secondary listing in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the final half of 2021, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The listing by China’s largest microblogging platform could raise up to US$700 million, one of those people said, as the company joined a wave of Hong Kong share sales by US-listed Chinese companies.

The Nasdaq-listed company, which has a market capitalization of US$13.2 billion and is backed by tech giant Alibaba, is considering selling about 5 percent of its enlarged share capital in Hong Kong to broaden the investor base, a source said

The Nasdaq-listed company, which has a market capitalization of US$13.2 billion and is backed by tech giant Alibaba, is considering selling about 5 percent of its enlarged share capital in Hong Kong to broaden the investor base, one of the sources said.

READ MORE: Many mainland companies to have secondary listing in HK

They asked not be named because the information has not been made public. 

Weibo did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and CLSA declined to comment.

A Hong Kong listing adds Weibo to the Chinese mainland companies whose shares are trading in New York that are seeking to return to exchanges closer to home against the backdrop of political tension between the United States and China.

Refinitiv data shows US$34 billion in secondary listings in Hong Kong since Alibaba’s US$12.9 billion float in late 2019. Last year, e-tailer JD.com raised US$4.5 billion and games developer NetEase Inc raised US$3.1 billion. 

Other Chinese companies planning such listings include popular video site Bilibili, search engine giant Baidu Inc and online travel major Ctrip.

Weibo, which went public in 2014, has seen its shares gain 42 percent so far this year, outperforming the Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index, which tracks Chinese firms listed on the US exchange and has advanced 26 percent over the same period.

ALSO READ: HKEx to accept dual-class IPO listing applications from April 30

The Beijing-based company reported US$417 million in advertising and marketing revenues, its core source of income, in the third quarter, flat year-on-year, following fierce competition from rivals, such as Bytedance, which runs popular short video app Douyin and online video firm Kuaishou.

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