Chinese EV Maker Li Auto Gets Nod for Hong Kong Listing

(Bloomberg) — Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto Inc. has received the green light from the Hong Kong stock exchange for a listing in the city, following in the steps of its rival XPeng Inc., which completed such a share sale last month.

U.S.-traded Li Auto could raise $1 billion to $2 billion in the listing, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Its updated listing documents were published on the HKEX website on Monday, indicating it has received approval from the bourse.

A company spokeswoman said the firm wouldn’t comment further beyond the prospectus.

Li Auto is pushing ahead with a share sale in the Asian financial hub at a time when Beijing is cracking down on overseas listings by Chinese companies. Shares of some of the biggest U.S.-listed Chinese firms have dropped recently as concerns about the regulatory onslaught deepen. Li Auto’s Nasdaq shares fell 8% on Friday, giving the company a market capitalization of $27.4 billion.

New Rules

Earlier this month China proposed new rules that would require nearly all companies seeking to list in foreign countries to undergo a cybersecurity review, a move that will significantly tighten oversight over its internet giants.

Li Auto will be the second of the trio of U.S.-traded Chinese EV companies to pursue a listing in Hong Kong. XPeng raised $2 billion in a dual primary listing last month. Like XPeng, Li Auto has been public for less than two years, meaning it can’t pursue a secondary listing like other Chinese firms that have completed so-called homecoming share sales.

Li Auto raised $1.3 billion in its U.S. initial public offering about a year ago. Its shares have risen 163% from its offer price as part of a global rally in EV stocks.

EV makers’ shares have staged a comeback since hitting lows in mid-May as investors bet on growing demand for electric cars. Increasing competition from legacy carmakers and greater wariness about risk assets had caused last year’s rally to sputter.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and China International Capital Corp. are joint sponsors for Li Auto’s Hong Kong listing, while UBS Group AG is the financial adviser, the prospectus shows.

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Harry Byrne

Harry Byrne

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