Chinese electric car maker aims to raise up to $950m in growth push

Electric vehicle maker Li Auto’s US listing will provide the latest gauge of American investor demand for Chinese companies going public. (Reuters)
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Updated 26 July 2020

Chinese electric car maker aims to raise up to $950m in growth push

  • Li Auto creates sparks with major US listing amid claims rival Xpeng also plans to go public in New York

HONG KONG: Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto Inc, backed by food delivery giant Meituan Dianping, has launched an initial public offering of up to $950 million, in one of the biggest US listings by Chinese companies this year.

The five-year-old automaker, formerly known as CHJ Automotive, is selling 95 million American depositary shares (ADDS) at an indicative range of $8 to $10 per share, according to its updated prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

Each ADS represents two Class A ordinary shares.

Private equity firm Hillhouse Capital plans to invest $300 million in the float, the company said in the filing.

The IPO is the latest gauge of US investor demand for Chinese companies going public.

For Li Auto and some other companies, prestige and listed comparables continue to propel them toward a US listing in spite of escalating Sino-US geopolitical tension and negative sentiment toward Chinese firms following widespread fallout from Luckin Coffee.

Li Auto’s rival, Xpeng, plans to go public in New York later this year, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

At $950 million, Li Auto’s IPO would surpass the $510 million float by cloud service provider Kingsoft Cloud, the biggest US listing by a Chinese firm this year.

Alongside the IPO, Li Auto will also raise $380 million from a concurrent private placement of shares to investors including Meituan Dianping via its British Virgin Islands-incorporated unit, and TikTok owner ByteDance via a Hong Kong unit.

The automaker plans to use most of the proceeds raised for capital expenditures, and research and development of new products. It is building Li ONE extended-range electric sport-utility vehicles in China.

It is set to price the float on July 30 and begin trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol “Li” the next day.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS and CICC are among underwriters for the IPO.


HSBC to axe 82 branches in UK, cut services in others

Updated 19 January 2021

HSBC to axe 82 branches in UK, cut services in others

  • The lender said it would be left with 511 branches in the UK following the closures

LONDON: HSBC said on Tuesday it planned to axe 82 branches in Britain this year after a drop in footfall across its retail network and a surge in digital banking.
The lender said it would be left with 511 branches in the UK following the closures, with many of the remaining branches set to be refurbished with some providing fewer services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dented bank finances, putting pressure on lenders to cut costs, while more customers have opted to bank online as people have been encouraged to stay at home to combat the spread of the virus.
HSBC said it had begun trialing different branch formats and decided to provide fewer full-service branches focused in large cities and towns, with others providing cash or self-service technology.
The bank said ‘pop-up’ mobile branches would also be rolled out later this year.
“The direction of travel is really quite clear and this is borne out by the reduction in branch usage and increase in digital interaction that we are seeing first-hand,” said Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s head of network.