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More tech firms to launch IPOS in HK as the stock exchange mulls dual-class shares system

By Fang Tian (People's Daily Online)    17:24, January 11, 2018

Xiaomi, Lufax, Ant Financial. An increasing number of hi-tech and financial companies are expected to launch IPOs in Hong Kong after the city started dual-class share listings, according to, a Shanghai-based business website.

Chinese leading hi-tech enterprise Xiaomi, online Internet finance marketplace Lufax, Ant Financial, a technology company that brings inclusive financial services, and other high-tech and financial groups are expected to go public in Hong Kong in 2018, being the first batch of dual-class share structures.

Last year saw the booming Hong Kong stock market. The good trend has continued into 2018, reaching a new high since last November with Hang Seng Index traded at 31073.72 on Wednesday.

A total of 174 companies went public in Hong Kong in 2017, an increase of 38 percent and 48 companies compared with that in 2016.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE) and Clearing announced in December that Hong Kong will broaden its listing regime and introduce dual-class shares. It has begun drafting specific rule changes that will be put up for a formal public consultation in the first quarter of 2018, said HKSE chief executive Charles Li.

Dual-class shares structure has been a trend of going public and will be the biggest move for Hong Kong’s stock market.

Alibaba launched an IPO in New York in 2014, after Kong Kong, its favored venue, refused to accept its governance structure, triggering heated discussion of rule changes of Hong Kong’s shares system.

Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Alibaba, recently said he will definitely consider listing in Hong Kong when responding to the listing invitation from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Chief Executive Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor at a recent event.

Alibaba is likely to list again in Hong Kong, said a market analyst, adding that Alibaba’s participation will add dynamism to Hong Kong’s financial market.

Now, almost 160 enterprises have submitted listing applications in Hong Kong, said Deloitte in a report. Rule changes and a broader listing regime will attract more new enterprises to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s amount of IPOs in 2018 is expected to reach $40 billion, the second largest after that in 2009, said a manager of Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking and management firm. And most potential public companies are from the TMT industry, namely technology, media, and telecom industries.

A market analyst anticipated that more IPOs will boost a corresponding growth of turnover in Hong Kong shares.

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