Didi plans to list in Hong Kong without raising capital or issuing new stock: Sources

The Hong Kong mechanism will allow owners of Didi US shares to transfer them to the city's bourse gradually. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - China's ride-hailing giant Didi Global plans to use a mechanism that will allow it to list shares in Hong Kong without raising capital or issuing new stock as it seeks to delist from New York, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The plans come as Didi is moving towards withdrawing from the New York Stock Exchange under pressure from Beijing, after running foul of the Chinese authorities by pushing ahead with an initial public offering (IPO) there earlier this year despite being asked to put it on hold while a review of its data practices was conducted.

The Hong Kong mechanism, known as "listing by introduction", will allow owners of Didi US shares to transfer them to the city's bourse gradually, said the people. They declined to be identified as the plan was not yet public.

Didi aims to file for the Hong Kong listing by end-April and list by June, one of the people said.

The plans are being prepared six months after Didi, sometimes dubbed the Uber Technologies of China, made its debut in New York after raising US$4.4 billion (S$6 billion) in a conventional IPO.

It said earlier this month that it plans to delist from the US bourse and pursue a Hong Kong listing.

A spokesman for Didi, whose apps, in addition to ride hailing, offer products such as delivery and financial services, did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

Unlike typical IPOs, companies listing stock by introduction in Hong Kong raise no capital and issue no new shares. The mechanism was popular among companies in the past looking to build a brand in Hong Kong and the rest of Greater China.

Didi has picked Goldman Sachs, China Merchants Bank International (CMBI) and China Construction Bank International (CCBI) to manage the Hong Kong listing process, said the people.

Goldman declined to comment, while CMBI, and CCBI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Goldman was one of the main underwriters of Didi's New York IPO, along with Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan.

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