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China Tourism plans to launch Hong Kong listing on Friday - sources

HONG KONG :China Tourism Group Duty Free Corp is aiming to launch its Hong Kong listing worth up to $2.74 billion on Friday in what would be the city's largest share sale in 2022, said two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The Shanghai-listed company, which has built the largest duty-free retail network in China, plans to sell 5 per cent of its shares in the float, said the sources, declining to be named as the information was not public yet.

At that size, a deal would be worth $2.74 billion, based on the company's Shanghai market value of 370.2 billion yuan ($54.8 billion) on Monday, but a discount is always applied to Hong Kong secondary share sales.

The discount is yet to be decided and will determine the final size of the deal, the sources said.

China Tourism did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The duty-free shop operator's deal, if executed, would surpass Tianqi Lithium's $1.71 billion listing in June to become the biggest share sale in Hong Kong in 2022.

China Tourism's shares close down 4.7 per cent per centon Monday after more areas on China's southernmost province of Hainan, an island dependent on tourism, was forced into lockdown to curb a COVID outbreak.

The island's key tourist city of Sanya began closing duty free malls last week following a rise in the number of cases.

There have been more than 1,400-domestically transmitted infections in Hainan this month, including 982 symptomatic ones, prompting authorities to order lockdowns of more areas on the island.

Presently, duty-free spending in China is largely concentrated in Hainan, where the annual limit on individual duty-free spending was hiked to 100,000 yuan ($14,800) in 2020 from 30,000 yuan previously. The island has been driving a consumption boom as the pandemic closed China's borders.

Source: Reuters

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