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Tech tycoons flood Hong Kong with $20 billion of stock listings

Bloomberg
Bloomberg • 2 min read
Tech tycoons flood Hong Kong with $20 billion of stock listings
China’s tycoons are flooding Hong Kong’s exchange with US$20 billion ($27.8 billion) worth of new listings.
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SINGAPORE (July 3): China’s tycoons are flooding Hong Kong’s exchange with US$20 billion ($27.8 billion) worth of new listings.

While the city’s rich are preparing for a worst-case scenario amid a controversial national-security law, major mainland billionaires are coming in. The latest to do so are William Ding of NetEase Inc and JD.com Inc’s Richard Liu, whose companies completed secondary listings there last month. They follow Jack Ma, whose Alibaba Group stock issuance in November was the city’s largest since 2010.

Together, the three moguls’ firms have raised US$20 billion from share sales in the former British colony, and that may be just the start of a new wave of listings by mainlanders.

“Chinese billionaires’ tech companies are helping the capital market in Hong Kong for a pivotal change and secure its Asia financial hub status,” said Edward Au, managing di- rector of the southern region at Deloitte China. “The city’s stock exchange is also trying to make it a more appealing destination for new–economy companies.”

The national–security law that was approved on June 30 is threatening to erode Hong Kong’s judicial independence from the mainland, a key part of the city’s appeal to international companies and investors. The US has already started to make it harder to export sensitive American technology to Hong Kong, and the House of Representatives passed a bill imposing sanctions on banks that do business with Chinese officials involved in cracking down on pro–democracy protesters.

While Chinese billionaires have myriad reasons for pursuing listings there — including a less welcoming political environment in the US — their choice of the city over alternatives on the mainland may help ease concerns that the former British colony risks losing its status as a financial center.

Chinese tech tycoons with companies trading in the city now have a combined net worth of US$182 billion, more than the 10 richest people in Hong Kong, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. For them, Hong Kong is becoming increasingly appealing as Chinese companies listed in the U.S. face growing scrutiny and potential delistings following an accounting scandal at Luckin Coffee Inc and mounting tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

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