Stock in JD.com Inc. rose on its first day of trading in Hong Kong, as the Chinese e-commerce company completed a secondary listing to coincide with its flagship annual sales event.
JD.com is following bigger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Chinese online-gaming group NetEase Inc. in securing a secondary listing in Hong Kong. The offerings give the companies listings closer to their home market, and come as tensions have widened between the U.S. and China to include issues such as financial regulations and accounting standards.
On Thursday morning in Hong Kong, JD.com shares rose about 4.2% to HK$235.60, from an offer price of HK$226.
That helped bring the share price closer in line with that of its outstanding American depositary receipts, which closed Wednesday at a record high of US$62.01. Each depositary receipt is worth the equivalent of two Hong Kong shares. The U.S. stock has gained 76% this year.
The company, which counts Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Walmart Inc. among its shareholders, previously listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market in 2014. It raised $3.9 billion from the Hong Kong stock sale. Underwriting banks have the option to increase the final deal size by 15%.
The trading debut coincided with the company’s annual June sales event, a summer equivalent of the Singles Day shopping festival Alibaba hosts in November every year.
The coronavirus pandemic has given Chinese e-commerce an extra boost as consumers shun physical stores for online purchases because of social distancing and travel restrictions. JD.com in May said it expected net revenue to grow 20% to 30% in the three months to June, after nearly 21% growth in the previous quarter. Both figures are year-over-year.
The secondary listing helps broaden JD.com’s shareholder base, making it easier for customers to become stockholders, and making trading hours more convenient for Asian investors.
NetEase and JD.com’s share sales come as the prospect of a Beijing-imposed national-security law raises questions about Hong Kong’s future as an international financial and commercial hub. Robust demand for the new shares has buoyed the Hong Kong dollar, prompting official intervention to stop the pegged currency strengthening too much.
The secondary listings are a boost for the stock-exchange operator, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd., which has sought to lure more tech and health-care listings, partly by changing its listing rules. Investors can now buy and sell Hong Kong shares in five major Chinese tech firms: Alibaba, JD.com, Meituan Dianping, NetEase and Tencent.
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