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JD.com hires banks for a Hong Kong listing as early as mid-year: sources

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Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com Inc has hired Bank of America and UBS to work on a second listing in Hong Kong, the latest to join the queue of Chinese companies expected to follow Alibaba to trade closer to home, two people with direct knowledge told Reuters.

[HONG KONG] Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com Inc has hired Bank of America and UBS to work on a second listing in Hong Kong, the latest to join the queue of Chinese companies expected to follow Alibaba to trade closer to home, two people with direct knowledge told Reuters.

The listing could happen as early as mid-2020, said the people, who declined to comment as the information is confidential.

JD.com's secondary listing comes as China is gradually recovering from the novel coronavirus outbreak that has infected over 80,000 people, claimed over 3,000 lives and paralysed businesses and public services nationwide.

Rival Alibaba warned in mid-February of a drop in revenues at its key e-commerce businesses in the first quarter as the novel coronavirus sweeping China hits supply chains and deliveries.

JD.com contrarily forecast revenues to rise by at least 10 per cent for the same quarter, benefiting from partnerships with supermarkets for delivering fresh produce and groceries to shoppers choosing to stay indoors due to fears of infection.

Alibaba raised US$12.9 billion in Hong Kong in November, which was the city's largest deal since 2010 and the world's biggest-ever cross-border secondary listing, prompting a number of US-traded Chinese companies to follow suit, including online travel giant Ctrip and Internet companies NetEase Inc and Baidu Inc.

Companies, however, have not been able to conduct face-to-face meetings with advisers or potential investors due to travel restrictions linked to the outbreak.

JD.com kicked off preparations for the second listing some time ago, said one of the people. It is not yet clear when the company will file for the listing.

JD's total net revenue rose 27 per cent to 170.68 billion yuan (S$34.6 billion) in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31. It last traded at US$39.71 per share as at Friday's close. REUTERS