NetEase shares rise on Hong Kong market debut

Source: Xinhua| 2020-06-11 13:13:37|Editor: Lu Hui
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HONG KONG, June 11 (Xinhua) -- NetEase Inc.'s shares rose strongly on its Hong Kong market debut Thursday morning as the tech firm became the second U.S.-listed Chinese company to finish homecoming secondary listing after Alibaba.

Shares of the internet giant started trading at about 133 Hong Kong dollars (17.16 U.S. dollars), more than eight percent higher than its offering price of 123 Hong Kong dollars.

As the largest public offering in Hong Kong so far this year, NetEase won enormous popularity among investors ahead of Thursday's trading as its offering was oversubscribed about 360 times by retail investors and 14 times by institutional buyers.

The company issued about 171 million new ordinary shares to raise 21.09 billion Hong Kong dollars to finance its global strategies, innovation and general corporate purposes.

Its underwriters can also exercise an over-allotment option to require the company to issue up to 25.72 million additional shares.

William Ding, the founder and CEO of NetEase, said Thursday that the Hong Kong listing marks the start of a brand-new journey for the company in a video as the listing ceremony was moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"By returning to a market in which we share a closer mutual understanding, we can further foster the collaboration of people and amass the power of passion and innovation to bring greater value to our users," Ding said.

Founded in 1997, NetEase first went public on the Nasdaq in 2000 as the first batch of Chinese internet stocks to land in the U.S. stock market. Its Hong Kong listing followed Alibaba's mega fund-raising worth more than 100 billion Hong Kong dollars last November.

According to the company's prospectus, listing in Hong Kong will offer it greater access to capital markets in Asia and attract a broader range of investors more representative of its user base.

The company's American depositary shares will continue to trade on the Nasdaq.

As the world's second largest mobile game company, NetEase raked in 59.24 billion yuan (about 8.39 billion U.S. dollars) of revenues last year, up from 51.18 billion yuan in 2018.

Charles Li, chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, also expressed congratulation and welcome to NetEase in a video and highlighted Hong Kong's unique advantages as a global financial hub.

Hong Kong wants to be the home for both mainland and international capital and underlying assets, where East meets West with Hong Kong being the converter, the translator and the connector, he said, adding that he looks forward to more companies listing in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong saw public offerings of 55 companies with combined fund-raising of over 25 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 3.22 billion U.S. dollars) during the first five months this year. (1 HKD equals 0.13 USD) (1 yuan equals 0.14 USD) Enditem