HONG KONG • Online travel platform Trip.com Group is seeking to raise up to HK$10.5 billion (S$1.8 billion) in a Hong Kong second listing, adding to the growing cohort of US-traded Chinese companies selling shares in the Asian financial hub.
Nasdaq-listed Trip.com is offering 31.6 million shares, according to a statement on Wednesday.
It has set a maximum price of HK$333 for the portion of the deal reserved for Hong Kong retail investors. That price translates into more than a 6 per cent premium to the company's closing price in New York on Tuesday, prior to the announcement.
Trip.com's American depositary shares (ADS) closed 3.4 per cent lower on Wednesday, giving the firm a market value of US$23.3 billion (S$31.2 billion).
The company plans to price the offering on April 13 Hong Kong time, the statement shows. One of Trip.com's ADS is equivalent to one ordinary share.
Trip.com is the fourth United States-listed Chinese firm to seek a trading foothold in Hong Kong this year.
Search giant Baidu, video streaming service Bilibili and car sales website Autohome raised a combined US$6.4 billion in the first quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The companies have been flocking to Hong Kong as a way to hedge against the risk of being kicked off American exchanges as a result of rising US-China tensions, as well as to bring in more Asia-based investors. Last year, such second listings raised US$17 billion.
Still, Trip.com's share sale in the city comes as tech shares globally are losing their shine. Investors are rotating out of richly valued growth stocks into ones that are expected to benefit from a recovery of the global economy.
Baidu has fallen 12 per cent from its listing price in Hong Kong, while Bilibili's second-listing shares have risen 8.2 per cent after a lacklustre debut that saw them close below their offer price.
Trip.com, which owns travel search website Skyscanner, reported revenue of 18.3 billion yuan (S$3.8 billion) last year, a 49 per cent drop year on year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to its prospectus. It lost 3.27 billion yuan last year after making a profit of almost 7 billion yuan in 2019.
While a recovery in international travel has been slow as the pandemic eases, travel within China has rebounded, thanks to its relative success in containing Covid-19.
The company plans to use the proceeds from the listing to fund the expansion of its travel offerings, improve user experience and invest in technology.