U.S.-listed Chinese electric vehicle (EV) makers Li Auto Inc, Nio Inc and Xpeng Inc plan to list in Hong Kong as soon as this year, tapping a growing investor base closer to home, said people with direct knowledge of the matter.
The trio each aim to sell at least 5% of enlarged share capital in the Asian hub, the people said. Based on their New York market capitalisation on Monday, proceeds could reach $5 billion.
The companies have been working with advisors on the sales which could begin as early as mid-year, said one of the people, who declined to be identified due to confidentiality constraints.
Li Auto, Nio and Xpeng – which have raised $14.7 billion in U.S. markets since 2018 – declined to comment.
The plans come as the trio increase capital raising efforts to fund technology development and expand sales networks, to better compete in the world’s biggest EV market where U.S. peer Tesla Inc is boosting sales of its China-made vehicles.
This year is set to be crucial for EV makers to seize market share as the industry expects China sales of new-energy vehicles (NEVs) to jump almost 40% from last year to 1.8 million units.
“Despite much richer financial resources now compared with a year ago, EV start-ups still need to invest heavily in next-generation technology,” said analyst Shi Ji at Haitong International. “Exploring a secondary listing much closer to their home market, if any, is a good move.”
Selling shares in Hong Kong would also add the trio to a slew of New York-listed Chinese firms seeking a presence on more local exchanges amid Sino-U.S. political tension.
The rising number of such listings “has enhanced the status of Hong Kong’s capital markets globally, and also helped issuers reach higher valuations and raise more capital,” said Zhang Zihua, chief investment officer at Beijing Yunyi Asset. Read More