Shares of Chinese Tesla rival Xpeng close flat in Hong Kong debut


July 8, 2021: -Shares of U.S.-listed electric vehicle maker Xpeng closed flat on Wednesday in their Hong Kong debut.

Xpeng is issuing 85 million Class A ordinary shares for 165 Hong Kong dollars each. The shares opened at 168 Hong Kong dollars, a 1.8% increase. Shortly after, they turned hostile and ended the day flat at 165 Hong Kong dollars.

The electric carmaker is usually listed in the U.S. Usually, Chinese companies listed on Wall Street will do the secondary listing, usually in Hong Kong. This is the company listed on one exchange goes on to sell shares on another.

But Xpeng’s share offering is a dual-primary listing. Meaning it will be subject to the rules and oversight of the U.S. and Hong Kong regulators, which is not the idea with a secondary listing.

Last month, the electric carmaker said that it would price shares at no more than 180 Hong Kong dollars each. Xpeng increased gross proceeds by 14.02 billion Hong Kong dollars.

In Hong Kong, the U.S.-listed Chinese companies have looked to list as a way to hedge against tensions amid China and the United States.

This year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopt the rules that impose stricter audit requirements on foreign firms listed in the U.S. Those requirements get the threat of delisting for companies that run afoul of the rules.

“I would say our Hong Kong listing is a very strategic decision. In it, I think, you know, hedging against geopolitical risks is only one of the considerations,” Brian Gu, president of Xpeng, told CNBC.

“But in the long run, though, we would like to have a listing venue that gets us closer to home because we’re a consumer brand in China. Ultimately we want our customers to be our shareholders, and having the dual primary that list status in Hong Kong will give the eligibility to be connected to Chinese capital markets.”

But Chinese firms listed in the U.S. can also face scrutiny at home. Beijing said, on Tuesday,  it would step up the supervision of companies listed overseas. The government is planning to improve rules around cross-border data flows and security. The move came after regulators launched a cybersecurity review into ride-hailing company Didi and forced app stores to remove it from download after its U.S. initial public offering.

The carmaker launched its third production model, in April, the P5 sedan, as competition ramps up with Li Auto, Tesla, and Nio.

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