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Baidu sells 11.4 million shares of HK shares as tech giants emerge from New York

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A woman takes a self-driving taxi to a designated location on Daoxianghu Road in Beijing’s Haidian District, the capital of China, on October 14, 2020. China Internet giant Baidu has launched a program in Beijing to offer free self-driving tests taxi service from Saturday. The pilot service, which serves certain stops in a part of the city from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will operate until November 6, according to Baidu. (Xinhua / Ren Chao)

Chinese Internet giant Baidu saw its share bids rise nearly 2 percent on the opening of HK $ 257 ($ 33.1) in the gray market on Monday, a day before its Hong Kong IPO, the latest example of Chinese companies listed in US Hong Kong for secondary lists between tougher scrutiny and growing hostility from US

On Monday, it announced plans to sell 11.4 million shares in the Hong Kong stock market while selling 95 million shares worldwide. Each share is priced at $ 255 HK, with about HK $ 24 billion expected to be raised by Chinese search engine and AI giant.

Its price reflects the lukewarm sentiment of investors, according to some overseas media, compared to the IPOs of other Hong Kong-based continental tech giants such as Tencent-based Kuaishou, which raised more than $ 6 billion. Experts agreed that Baidu’s fundraising rate is limited, but its price in Hong Kong is at a reasonable level.

“Baidu is not one of those companies that is eager for funding because of its high rating and profits and its funding rate is limited,” Thomas Yeung, vice president of the Futian School of Finance and an economist at Global Hong Kong. Times.

Dong Dengxin, director of the Institute of Finance and Securities at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, noted that Baidu’s IPO in Hong Kong is more of a “symbolic” gesture as the company prepares to avoid uncertainty in the US

“The hostility of US government policies towards Chinese high-tech companies is making many Chinese companies feel insecure, while Chinese tech giants like Alibaba have set an example of returning to the Hong Kong market, leading more to follow suit, “Dong said, adding that more companies including Baidu would consider withdrawing from New York to return home.

Among those planning to return are three starters of China’s new energy vehicles – Li Auto Inc., Nio Inc. and Xpeng Inc. – who plan to rank in Hong Kong this year, Reuters reported.

The Hong Kong stock market will be the one that benefits most from such migration, experts said, given its dominance over the continental A stock markets in ease of trading.

According to Dong, there is almost no difference between IPO thresholds or procedures in Hong Kong and the Nasdaq. “For companies returning to the Hong Kong market, they benefit from continental capital with the shareholding regime, while they can also gain access to global investors with the status of Hong Kong international financial center.”

He also noted that the growth of the technology sector in Hong Kong capital markets after these IPOs is supporting Hong Kong as a major global financial hub.

However, the rise of continental tech companies in Hong Kong markets brings some side effects as well, as some short-term speculative trade behaviors have begun to emerge in Hong Kong, Dong said.

“As continental capital flows into Hong Kong, the market investment style is likely to become more speculative, while old, remaining stocks will become more marginalized,” Yeung said.

He noted that at a time when some international institutions in Hong Kong are under political pressure to leave the city, the IPOs of continental companies will discourage large-scale departures.

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