By Julie Zhu and Scott Murdoch
HONG KONG, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Chinese social media platformWeibo Corp has appointed Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse andCLSA to work on its planned Hong Kong secondary listing in thefinal half of 2021, two sources with direct knowledge of thematter said.
The listing by China’s largest microblogging platform couldraise up to $700 million, one of those people said, as thecompany joined a wave of Hong Kong share sales by U.S.-listedChinese companies.
The Nasdaq-listed company, which has a market capitalisationof $13.2 billion and is backed by tech giant Alibaba,is considering selling about 5% of its enlarged share capital inHong Kong to broaden the investor base, one of the sources said.
They asked not be named because the information has not beenmade public.
Weibo did not immediately respond to a request for commentand Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and CLSA declined to comment.
A Hong Kong listing adds Weibo to the Chinese companieswhose shares are trading in New York that are seeking to returnto exchanges closer to home against the backdrop of politicaltension between the United States and China.
Refinitiv data shows $34 billion in secondary listings inHong Kong since Alibaba’s $12.9 billion float in late 2019. Lastyear, e-tailer JD.com raised $4.5 billion and gamesdeveloper NetEase Inc raised $3.1 billion.
Other Chinese companies planning such listings includepopular video site Bilibili, search engine giant BaiduInc and online travel major Ctrip.
Weibo, which went public in 2014, has seen its shares gain42% so far this year, outperforming the Nasdaq Golden DragonChina Index, which tracks Chinese firms listed on the U.S.exchange and has advanced 26% over the same period.
The Beijing-based company reported $417 million inadvertising and marketing revenues, its core source of income,in the third quarter, flat year-on-year, following fiercecompetition from rivals, such as Bytedance, which runs popularshort video app Douyin and online video firm Kuaishou.(Reporting by Julie Zhu and Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong;additional reporting Kane Wu; editing by Barbara Lewis)