Tencent gears up for date with SSE

          Hong Kong-listed Tencent Holdings Ltd, operator of the mainland’s largest online instant messaging (IM) service, is gearing up for a listing on the Shanghai bourse as soon as the ban on initial public offerings (IPOs) is lifted.

         “We have always been considering listing in Shanghai so that our clients on the mainland can buy our shares,” the company’s Chairman Ma Huateng told reporters in a group interview at Tencent’s headquarters.
         Tencent plans to use the proceeds of its proposed Shanghai listing to diversify into new businesses. The company recently launched several new online games to test its capability in tapping into China’s fast-growing online game market.
Although Tencent’s popular QQ service is practically synonymous with instant messaging in China, and is headquartered in Shenzhen, it is prohibited under existing regulations from obtaining a listing on the mainland because the company is registered in the Cayman Islands.
          But that particular rule that bars companies of overseas domicile to list on mainland bourses is under review as part of the reform of the securities industry.
         According to Chan, the Hong Kong-based firms, with most of their assets and businesses on the mainland, would be the preferred initial choice by SSE of overseas companies that would be encouraged to list on their bourse.
        HSBC, Coca-Cola and Siemens are among global firms having aspirations to seek a listing on the mainland’s A-share market.
        In May, China Mobile Chairman Wang Jianzhou said the company planned to get back to the mainland market “as soon as possible” by issuing China Depositary Receipts (CDRs).
        It has been reported that officials of the China Securities Regulatory Commission have said that the regulators would consider allowing the red chips to come back after the initial public offerings market is resumed on the main board and the second board.
        “The red chips may get first crack at listing by the end of the year, while the foreign companies can expect to get listed on the mainland in the next one or two years,” said Jing Ulrich, JP Morgan’s chairwoman of China equities.
        Shares of Tencent, which joined the blue chip Hang Seng Index last year, have surged about 80 percent this year to HK$89.35 yesterday, making it one of the year’s best performers. By comparison, the broader Index is up over 25 percent year to date.
       Tencent’s stock, which marks its fifth anniversary as a listed company in Hong Kong yesterday, has increased 24-fold since its 2004 listing at HK$3.70.
        This news is organised by China electronics manufacturer.

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