Chinese ecommerce group JD.com jumped almost 6 per cent on its trading debut in Hong Kong after raising nearly $4bn in the second-largest share sale globally this year.

The online retail group’s stock gained as much as 5.8 per cent in early trading on Thursday to reach HK$239 ($30.84) per share.

JD.com had raised $3.9bn earlier this month through the secondary sale of 133m new shares at an offer price of HK$226 each. The value of the fundraising could increase to $4.3bn if bankers execute a so-called greenshoe option to increase the deal’s size.

Hong Kong is likely to benefit from a wave of large equity capital raisings this year as US-listed Chinese companies trading in New York face regulatory pressure from the Trump administration and the prospect of forced delistings.

JD.com shares already trade on Nasdaq but the group is one of several big Chinese companies to line up a so-called “homecoming” listing in Hong Kong.

NetEase, another Chinese internet company, recently raised about $2.7bn in a Hong Kong secondary offering.

In its preliminary prospectus for the Hong Kong listing, JD.com highlighted as a potential risk a bill being pushed through the US Congress that threatens delisting for foreign companies that fail to provide access to audit reports.

People familiar with JD.com’s secondary offering said interest from US investors had not been affected by hawkish sentiment from Washington.

“Demand from the US investors is just overwhelming — I don’t see any difference from any other popular offerings,” said one person, adding that the institutional side of the deal was “heavily oversubscribed”.

Demand for JD.com shares from investors in Hong Kong was robust, with the retail offering 179 times oversubscribed.

JD.com founder Richard Liu was absent from the listings ceremony in Beijing, where Xu Lei, head of the company’s retail business unit, rang an oversized gong at the start of trading.

Mr Xu declined to say if deteriorating US-China relations and heightened regulatory scrutiny had played a role in the Hong Kong listing.

“We’re more focused on the composition of the investors — [Asian investors] better understand China’s economy, China’s market and Chinese companies,” he said. “As for anything else, I can’t comment.”

Mr Xu in recent months has taken the place of Mr Liu on the corporate filings of many of JD.com’s Chinese subsidiaries.

The Hong Kong share sale represents about 4.3 per cent of JD.com’s total shares outstanding before the over-allotment option. Shares were up about 3.8 per cent at midday.

Bank of America, UBS and Citic Securities are joint sponsors of the listing.

Source Article