Chinese technology giant Xiaomi is readying flotation plans as Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) unveils major changes to its listings rules with the aim of winning a string of blockbuster initial public offerings with multibillion-dollar valuations.
The Hong Kong stock exchange is poised to publish big changes to its listing regime on Tuesday in a bid to attract more "innovative" technology companies, as well as companies that have floated overseas, to list on the venue.
Xiaomi is one of the Chinese technology companies finalising plans to float, with Hong Kong its most likely destination, according to two bankers close to the plan. The company is expected to file its IPO application as early as May, after HKEX has published its rules and allows for applications under the new regime, the sources said. Xiaomi declined to comment.
The move by HKEX is aimed at encouraging more Chinese unicorns and technology behemoths to list in Hong Kong, after the venue lost out on e-commerce giant Alibaba's record-breaking $25bn listing to New York in 2014.
Charles Li, chief executive of HKEX, said at a Wall Street Journal conference on Friday that it is "only a matter of time" before Alibaba and Xiaomi list in Hong Kong. He also reiterated his view that oil company Saudi Aramco would at some point list on the venue, as China is a large customer.
香港交易所(HKEX)首席执行官李小加(Charles Li)上周五在《华尔街日报》(Wall Street Journal)的一次会议上表示，阿里巴巴和小米在香港上市"只是时间问题"。他还重申了他的观点，即石油公司沙特阿美公司也将在不久的将来赴港上市，因为中国是该公司的重量级客户。
The changes to be announced by HKEX on Tuesday are expected to enable biotech firms that have yet to generate a revenue to list on the exchange for the first time.
The rules are also set to permit companies deemed "innovative" to list with dual-class share structures, which give founders of companies greater voting rights over ordinary shareholders.
The exchange is also poised to announce that it will make it easier for companies listed overseas to seek a secondary listing in Hong Kong. Companies that fit the new criteria would be able to apply to list from April 30.
Xiaomi, which originally created smartphones before branching into software and becoming a more internet-focused business, have appointed Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Citic as bankers.The company could be valued at as much as $100bn in the biggest tech IPO since Alibaba's flotation.
小米，一家最初生产智能手机后来进军软件领域并成为专注于互联网业务的公司，现已聘请摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)、高盛(Goldman Sachs)和中信(Citic)为保荐人。该公司的估值可高达1000亿美元，这将会是自阿里巴巴上市以来规模最大的科技企业IPO。
One banker said: "They [HKEX] want Xiaomi to be the poster child of its new regime." Some analysts and bankers said Hong Kong's move to embrace companies with dual-share class structures would attract Xiaomi, as a way for the founder Lei Jun to retain a larger degree of control.
Dual-class shares have provoked a backlash from corporate governance activists, who said that ordinary shareholders will lose out from having fewer voting rights.