FILE PHOTO: A logo of Baidu is seen during the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, November 23, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
March 11, 2021
By Scott Murdoch and Yingzhi Yang
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese search engine giant Baidu Inc will launch its Hong Kong secondary listing on Friday and will sell around 4% of its shares, which at current price will raise at least $3 billion, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The sources could not be named as the information has not yet been made public. Baidu declined to comment on the launch.
Baidu shares, listed on the Nasdaq have risen 18.1% so far this year to the current price of $255.14. The peak in 2021 was $339.91 on Feb. 19.
The deal has been ready to launch since at least Tuesday but the New York-listed Baidu has waited for volatility in stock markets to ease, especially in tech shares, before going ahead with it, one of the sources added.
Baidu did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the deal being ready earlier this week.
Advisors have been closely watching the Hang Seng Tech Index, which fell 6.4% on Monday, its largest daily decline since July 16 last year, according to Refinitiv data.
The index rose more than 5% on Thursday but remains down 1.2% for the week as sentiment towards the city’s tech stocks stabilise. Baidu’s move is the latest in a steady march of U.S.-listed Chinese companies which have carried out deals in the past year to list in Hong Kong. There were 12 secondary listings in 2020 which raised $19.06 billion, according to Refinitiv data. The trend was started by Alibaba in 2019, when it sold $12.9 billion worth of shares in Hong Kong as it looked to diversify away from its sole New York listing.
(Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong and Yingzhi Yang in Beijing; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)