BEIJING, August 12 (TMTPOST)— China Tourism Group Duty Free Corp. (CDFG), the world’s largest duty-free retailer, confirmed the rumor earlier this month about its mega Hong Kong listing in a challenging time that U.S.- listed Chinese companies are considering responses including exits to ongoing regulatory spat over audits.
Source: Visual China
CDFG is planning to sell 102.8 million Hong Kong shares with a proposed price range of HK$143.50 to HK$165.50 per share, according to a filling on Friday. The company disclosed its deal was backed by nine cornerstone investors and the shares are scheduled to be traded on August 25. Based on the price range, CDFG is seeking to raise up to about HK$17 billion (US$2.17 billion) through the listing, down from the up to US$10 billion offering it pursued last year before shelving in December due to weak market conditions. However, the duty-free giant is still on the track to launch the largest initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong for the year and supposed to boost the financial hub’s primary equity market, in which there were all but one new offering raised no more than US$1 billion since the beginning of the year.
Coincidently, CDFG announced to resume its secondary listing plan in Hong Kong the same day that five leading Chinese state-owned companies said they were going to delist from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by early September. China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) then said these companies' decisions were made on their business concerns, and added that both listing and delisting are normal in the capital market. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) didn't make any comments.
Neither of these big companies, including Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco), the top aluminum maker in China, China Life Insurance, the country’s largest life insurer, two energy giants PetroChina and Sinopec as well as and a Shanghai-based Sinopec subsidiary, mentioned the auditing dispute in separate statements about their delist plans. But a majority of Chinese firms listed in the United States faced increasing delist risks as the SEC has so far placed more than 250 Chinese companies in the list for failing to comply with the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCAA).The law allows SEC to prohibit companies from trading and make listed companies be kicked out of U.S. exchanges if the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), SEC’s accounting body, is unable to inspect or investigate these company audits for three consecutive years.
Moreover, tensions between Beijing and Washington were heightened after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit toTaiwan last week, which made her the highest-ranking U.S. politician to visit the region in 25 years. Chinese government rebuked the visit a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, and has launched series of countermeasures including military drills surrounding the Taiwan Island.