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GDS poised to raise US$1.67b in Hong Kong listing

[BEIJING] Data centre company GDS Holdings has raised HK$12.9 billion (S$2.26 billion) in its Hong Kong second listing, following in the steps of other US-listed Chinese firms in seeking a trading foothold closer to home.

The Shanghai-based firm priced shares at HK$80.88 each, according to terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News. That represents a 3 per cent discount to the closing price Monday of its Nasdaq-listed American depositary shares, at US$86.04 apiece. One ADS represents 8 ordinary shares. GDS sold 160 million shares in its Hong Kong listing and had set a maximum price of HK$86 apiece.

GDS is part of a growing cohort of US-listed Chinese firms looking to sell shares in Hong Kong to expand its investor base and as a hedge against any further deterioration in relations between Washington and Beijing. Tensions have spilled over into the capital markets, with the US threatening to delist Chinese companies on the grounds American regulators don't have access to their audit papers.

Over US$13.5 billion has been raised this year through such second listings in Hong Kong, including the blockbuster deals of e-commerce giant JD.com Inc and NetEase Inc, China's second largest gaming company.

GDS plans to use the proceeds to expand its platform of high-performance data centers and to innovate and develop new technologies related to data center design, construction and operations. Its US shares have risen 67 per cent this year amid a surge in investor enthusiasm for cloud computing and data centers during the coronavirus pandemic.

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