China's Xiaomi prices HK IPO at bottom of range, raises $4.72 billion: sources

HONG KONG (Reuters/IFR) – China’s Xiaomi Corp (1810.HK) priced its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) at the bottom of an indicative range, raising $4.72 billion in the world’s biggest tech float in four years, people close to the transaction said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Xiaomi logos are seen during a news conference in Hong Kong, China June 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

Xiaomi priced its share offering at HK$17 per share ($2.17), the bottom of a price range of HK$17 to HK$22, the people said. It is selling about 2.18 billion shares, one of the people said, making the IPO the largest in the technology sector since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) raised $25 billion in New York in 2014.

Xiaomi declined to comment on the IPO pricing. The people declined to be identified as the information was not public.

The pricing comes at a delicate time for Hong Kong’s stock market, with the benchmark Hang Seng index falling 6.5 percent this month and 4.8 percent this year amid escalating trade tension between the U.S. and Chinese governments.

Brochures on the IPO of Xiaomi are shown at a news conference in Hong Kong, China June 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

The share sale is widely seen as a test of market sentiment for what is expected to be a packed second-half of the year in terms of IPOs in Hong Kong including offerings by China Tower, the world’s largest mobile mast operator, and Meituan Dianping, a massive online food delivery-to-ticketing services platform.

Several Chinese IPO candidates preparing to float in Hong Kong and New York could be met with cautious investors if tension persists between the world’s two biggest economies, potentially dragging on capital raising amounts after a stellar first half.

China Tower has won approval in Hong Kong for an IPO that could raise up to $10 billion. Its listing timing will, however, depend somewhat on how well Xiaomi’s deal is received, sources have told Reuters.

Xiaomi’s IPO adds to the $6 billion of new listings so far in 2018 in Hong Kong and is set to be the first under the city’s new exchange rules permitting dual-class shares common in the tech industry in an attempt to attract tech floats.

The firm lined up $548 million from seven cornerstone investors for its share sale including U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) and telecom service provider China Mobile Ltd (0941.HK).

Set up in 2010, Xiaomi doubled its smartphone shipments in 2017 to become the world’s fourth-largest maker, according to Counterpoint Research, defying a global slowdown in handset sales. It also makes dozens of internet-connected home appliances and gadgets, including scooters, air purifiers and rice cookers.

Xiaomi had been expected to raise up to $10 billion, split between Hong Kong and mainland China, but last week shelved the mainland offering until after listing in Hong Kong.

The decision was mainly because of a dispute between Xiaomi and Chinese regulators over the valuation of the company’s China depositary receipts (CDRs), people close to the matter told Reuters.

Xiaomi said last week there was no such dispute. But it also said there was no time frame for the CDR issuance, casting doubt on government efforts to lure foreign-listed Chinese tech giants back home.

Beijing-based, Cayman-domiciled Xiaomi is due to start trading in Hong Kong on July 9.

Reporting by Fiona Lau of IFR and Julie Zhu;Editing by Christopher Cushing

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