Nasdaq-listed Chinese electric carmaker Li Auto to raise up to $1.93 billion from Hong Kong listing


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A Li Xiang One hybrid SUV is on display during the 18th Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition at China Import and Export Fair Complex on November 23, 2020 in China.
Li Zhihao | Visual China Group | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese electric vehicle start-up Li Auto plans to raise around $1.93 billion in a Hong Kong secondary listing.

The Nasdaq-listed company said it will offer 100 million class A ordinary shares to investors at a price of no more than 150 Hong Kong dollars or $19.29. Final pricing will be announced by Aug. 6.

At 150 Hong Kong dollars per share, Li Auto would raise 15 billion Hong Kong dollars or $1.93 billion.

Li Auto is pushing ahead with the listing despite a recent sell-off in Chinese technology stocks that was triggered by regulatory crackdowns hitting everything from food delivery to ride hailing.

Chinese electric vehicle makers are trying to take advantage of the excitement around the industry to raise money.

Last month, Li Auto rival Xpeng raised around $1.8 billion in a Hong Kong listing.

But Li Auto is also tapping into a trend of U.S.-listed Chinese companies looking to raise money closer to home. Alibaba, NetEase and are among China’s technology giants that have carried out secondary listings.

Doing a secondary listing in Hong Kong also helps to hedge against some of the geopolitical risk that has spilled over into financial market regulation.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules that impose stricter auditing requirements for foreign firms listed in the U.S. Those requirements carry the threat of delisting for companies that run afoul of the rules.

And last month, the SEC also said it will require additional disclosures from Chinese companies looking to list on U.S. exchanges.

Li Auto said that it plans to use the proceeds of its share offering for research and development into technologies and future models, as well as expanding production capacity and its retail store footprint.

Competition in the Chinese electric vehicle market is getting intense. Start-ups like Li Auto, Xpeng and Nio are competing against established players like BYD and Tesla as well as traditional automakers.

Li Auto said Sunday it delivered 8,589 Li One vehicles in July, a monthly record. The Li One SUV is the company’s only model on the market. It’s a hybrid vehicle that comes with a fuel tank for charging the battery, extending the 180-kilometer driving range by about 620 km (385.35 miles).

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