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.


Saudi imports from China up 17.8 percent in 2020 to $28.1 billion

Updated 24 January 2021

Saudi imports from China up 17.8 percent in 2020 to $28.1 billion

  • Bilateral trade between the two countries remains steady amid the ongoing global health crisis

RIYADH:  Saudi imports from China rose 17.8 percent year-on- year in 2020 to $28.1 billion, according to a report from Mubasher, citing figures from China Customs.

Despite this increase, the Kingdom’s overall trade surplus with China was down 63.9 percent last year to $6.2 billion, the report said.

Trading between the two nations has remained steady.
On Wednesday, Reuters news agency reported that Chinese govern- ment data showed the Kingdom was still the world’s biggest oil exporter, as well as beating Russia to keep its ranking as China’s top crude supplier in 2020.

Oil demand in China, the world’s top oil importer, remained strong last year despite the challenges brought on by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Chinese imports rose 7.3 percent to a record 542.4 million tons, or 10.85 million barrels per day (bpd).

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Saudi shipments to China in 2020 rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier to 84.92 million tons.
  • The Kingdom’s overall trade surplus with China was down 63.9 percent last year to $6.2 billion.
  • In 2020, China became the GCC’s top trading partner, replacing the EU for the first time

Saudi shipments to China in 2020 rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier to 84.92 million tons, or about 1.69 million bpd, data from the General Administration of Chinese Customs showed.

Political commentator Zaid M. Belbagi wrote in an Arab News opinion piece that, with the increased importance of land and sea routes connecting Asia with Europe and Africa, China increasingly saw relations with the Arab world as “central” to its geostrategic ambitions.

“There is, however, a disconnect between the expansion of Chinese involvement in the region across the political and economic realms and the cultural and diplomatic connectivity required to deepen ties that will not only ensure Chinese interests, but also encourage Arab states to partake in the new world China is building in its own image,” he said.

Saudi-China relations have strengthened over the years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ties were further strengthened with the two countries offering each other assistance and staunch support.

The past three years have marked a rapid increase in Saudi- China links. King Salman visited the country as part of a six-country Asian tour early in 2017, setting the seal on a “comprehensive strategic partnership” between the two
countries when he met Chinese President Xi Jinping.

A joint high-level committee was established to guide future economic development strategy.

That was followed by a later visit by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, adding greater depth to the relationship and further aligning the two countries’ main economic development plans — the Belt and Road Initiative by which China seeks to play a leading role in regional development, and the Vision 2030 strategy aimed at diversifying Saudi Arabia away from oil dependency.

China has also become the top export destination of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) petrochemicals and chemicals, accounting for about 25 percent of GCC exports.


At $180 billion, the GCC (GCC) trade with China accounts for over 11 percent of the bloc’s overall trade. In 2020, China became the GCC’s top trading partner, replacing the EU for the first time.

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