Nasdaq-listed Baidu is reportedly moving toward making a secondary listing in Hong Kong, as Washington threatens to delist U.S.-listed Chinese companies that fail to meet certain auditing standards.
The Chinese search engine giant has chosen CLSA and Goldman Sachs for the planned listing that could raise at least $3.5 billion, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
Beijing-based Baidu plans to sell shares in Hong Kong as early as the first half of 2021, which are expected to account for 5% to 9% of its share capital. More banks could be added and details about the offering are subject to change, according to the sources.
Baidu had no immediate comment on the issue when contacted by Caixin.
If the planned listing becomes a reality, Baidu will be the latest in a string of major U.S.-listed Chinese companies to make secondary listings in Hong Kong amid rising tensions between the world’s two largest economies. Returning to Hong Kong has emerged as a preferred option for U.S.-listed Chinese companies seeking to expand their funding sources, and functions as a hedge against potential delisting.
In the past week, the New York Stock Exchange played fast and loose over its plan to delist China’s three major telecoms operators, increasing uncertainties over the fate of Chinese companies that trade shares on American bourses.
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