Travel retailer to open books for $2.7 billion

China Tourism Group Duty Free Corporation plans to begin building books on Friday, which could raise up to $2.74 billion (HK$21.37 billion) and would be the company’s biggest stock sale. city ​​in 2022, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The news came as Alibaba (9988) said the Hong Kong Stock Exchange had recognized its application for a primary listing in the SAR.

Shanghai-listed China Tourism, which has built the largest duty-free retail network in China, plans to sell 5% of its stake in the float, the sources said.

At that size, a deal would be worth $2.74 billion, based on the company’s Shanghai market value of 370.2 billion yuan (HK$429.7 billion) on Monday, but a discount is still applied to sales of secondary shares in Hong Kong.

The discount has yet to be decided and will determine the final size of the deal, the sources say.

The duty-free shop operator’s deal, if executed, would top Tianqi Lithium’s HK$13.46 billion listing in June to become the biggest share sale in Hong Kong in 2022.

Shares of China Tourism closed 4.7% in Shanghai yesterday after more areas of China’s southernmost province Hainan, an island dependent on tourism, were forced to close to curb a Covid outbreak.

The island’s main tourist city, Sanya, began closing duty-free malls last week following an increase in cases.

It came as Malaysia-based food and beverage distributor Swang Chai Chuan opened its retail books in the city yesterday, aiming to raise up to HK$135 million.

The company is offering 241 million shares, with a price ranging from HK$0.52 to HK$0.56 each. The minimum investment is HK$2,828 per board lot.

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