Trip.com to price Hong Kong secondary listing at HK$268 a share

Hong Kong

ONLINE travel platform Trip.com Group is set to raise HK$8.5 billion (S$1.5 billion) after telling prospective investors that it plans to price its Hong Kong secondary listing at HK$268 per share, according to people familiar with the matter.

The price represents a discount of about 2 per cent to Trip.com's closing price of US$35.20 on Monday on the Nasdaq, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn't public. The company is offering 31.6 million shares in the Hong Kong share sale. It has set a maximum price of HK$333 for the portion of the deal reserved for retail investors.

One of Trip.com's American depositary shares is equivalent to one ordinary share. The shares are due to start trading in Hong Kong on April 19. An external representative for the company declined to comment.

Trip.com's US shares have risen about 4 per cent this year, giving the firm a market capitalisation of US$21 billion. It is part of a wave of US-listed Chinese companies seeking a trading foothold in Hong Kong, which has seen some of the country's biggest tech giants such as Alibaba Group Holding and JD.com raise more than US$36 billion since late 2019, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The second listings act 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.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has said that it will start implementing a law passed last year requiring overseas companies to let American regulators inspect their audits or face delisting.

Recent second listings from the likes of Baidu and Bilibili fared less well than the ones last year as they got caught up in a broader sell-off of technology shares as investors rotated into sectors expected to benefit from a recovery of global growth.

But tech names have since staged a comeback, with the Nasdaq Composite Index rising from lows hit at the beginning of March.

JPMorgan Chase, China International Capital Corp and Goldman Sachs Group are joint sponsors for Trip.com's listing. BLOOMBERG

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