Trip.com Obtains Go-Ahead for Secondary Listing in Hong Kong

(Source: Trip.com Group)

Chinese travel company Trip.com Group has passed the hearing for its secondary offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, according to a draft prospectus filed to the bourse late Tuesday.

With JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and China International Capital Corporation (CICC) acting as the joint sponsors, Trip.com is expected to become the world’s first travel booking firm co-listed in the US and Hong Kong. The Shanghai-based company aims to raise more than $1 billion via the listing, Nikkei Asia reported.

Trip.com joins a growing cohort of US-listed Chinese companies planning to stage secondary listings in the East Asian financial center amid heightening tensions between the two nations. Refinitiv data show that the so-called “homecoming” listings in Hong Kong have totalled $36 billion since Alibaba kicked off the trend with a $12.9 billion float in 2019, Reuters reported. Chinese search engine giant Baidu, which holds a 11.5% stake in Trip.com Group, raised $3.1 billion in a Hong Kong secondary listing last month.

Due to destructive impacts of the pandemic on the global travel and tourism industry, Trip.com reported a 3.25 billion yuan ($496.82 million) net loss for 2020. Its net revenue decreased 49% year-on-year to 18.33 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) last year.

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Founded in 1999, Trip.com Group provides services including accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours and corporate travel management. It owns and operates Trip.com, Skyscanner, Qunar, and Ctrip, all of which are online travel agencies.

The company was listed on the Nasdaq in 2003, raising $75 million from the sale of 4.2 million American depositary receipts at $18 each. Shares of Trip.com Group have jumped more than 60% over the past 12 months as domestic travel in China is recovering to pre-pandemic levels and prospects for the return of cross-border travel have improved. On April 6, Trip.com’s shares climbed 1.23% to close at $40.18.

According to a government statement released late Monday, over the three-day Qingming holiday, residents made 102 million domestic trips in China, 94.5% of the level recorded in 2019. Tourism revenue reached 27.2 billion yuan ($4.2 billion), 57% of the overall 2019 figure.