Indonesia's J&T Express eyes shifting IPO from US to Hong Kong

Preparations for the Hong Kong listing are at an early stage, and details of J&T Express' IPO plans, including size and timeline, could still change. PHOTO: J &T EXPRESS

JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) - J&T Express, an Indonesian courier company, is considering shifting its planned US initial public offering (IPO) to Hong Kong in a debut that could raise about US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion), according to people familiar with the matter.

The Jakarta-based company is working with Bank of America, China International Capital (CIC) and Morgan Stanley on the potential first-time share sale as soon as next year, the people said, asking not to be named as the matter is private.

J&T had previously planned to seek a US IPO as soon as the fourth quarter, Bloomberg News reported in April.

The possible change of venue comes as Chinese regulators have announced scrutiny on its companies listing overseas. Even though J&T is Indonesian, several of its investors are based in China and the logistics firm has significant operations there, which has prompted concern within the company about potential scrutiny from Beijing, one of the people said.

Preparations for the Hong Kong listing are at an early stage, and details of J&T Express' IPO plans, including size and timeline, could still change, the people said. The company could decide to list in the United States at a later date, following its offering in Hong Kong, one of the people said.

Representatives for Bank of America, CICC, J&T and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs Jet Lee and Tony Chen, J&T Express has operations in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam, according to the company's website. The courier has more than 350,000 employees globally.

In China, J&T is known for its aggressive pricing and expansion, challenging rivals like SF Holding and YTO Express Group, which is backed by Alibaba Group Holding. In April, the postage authority in Yiwu, a city in Zhejiang province, penalised the start-up for selling below cost and ordered it to rectify rates, local media outlets reported.

J&T Express would join a number of companies whose plans to list in New York have been thrown in doubt amid brewing US tensions with China. On-demand logistics and delivery firm Lalamove considered shifting its planned US IPO to Hong Kong, Bloomberg News reported in July.

Others, such as social media and e-commerce site Xiaohongshu, or Little Red Book, have put US listing plans on hold.

Separately, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has asked Chinese companies seeking overseas listings to give increasingly detailed descriptions of the so-called variable interest entity corporate structures such firms use to list abroad.

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