Chinese Online Platform KE Holdings Starts Trading in Hong Kong

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(Bloomberg) — KE Holdings Inc., a Chinese online property platform backed by SoftBank Group Corp., listed in Hong Kong without raising funds as it expands its investors base amid a risk of being kicked out of the U.S. market.

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The stock opened at HK$30 in its Hong Kong debut. KE Holdings executed a dual primary-listing in the Asian financial hub by way of introduction, joining a slew of Chinese companies that started trading closer to home ahead of possible delisting from American exchanges due to auditing requirements stateside.

Electric-vehicle maker NIO Inc. debuted in the city in March also by way of introduction, an easier path for firms already traded elsewhere than a traditional initial public offering. The dual-primary status enables KE Holdings shares in Hong Kong to be part of the Stock Connect program, giving mainland investors the option to trade them.

KE Holding’s IPO in the U.S. in 2020 raised about $2.44 billion, including a greenshoe portion. The sale came at a time of enthusiasm for Chinese tech names in New York. Yet, after a surge in the first day of trade, the stock slumped alongside several Chinese names amid a wide crackdown by Beijing on tech companies. It’s now down about 41% from the listing price.

The American depositary shares will remain listed on the New York Stock Exchange, KE Holdings said last month. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and China International Capital Corp Ltd are acting are joint sponsors in the Hong Kong listing.

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