Trip.com rises 4.5pc in Hong Kong debut

Business | Avery Chen 20 Apr 2021

China's online travel platform Trip.com (9961) rose 4.55 percent to HK$280.2 on its Hong Kong debut, while chairman James Liang Jianzhang expects a strong recovery for the domestic tourism industry during the upcoming Labour Day holiday.

Liang projects domestic travel income will grow by more than 20 percent during the five-day holiday from a year ago, while Trip.com is expected to see a higher increase. That's driven by compensatory consumption, while mainland tourists are seeking substitutes for overseas trips, he said in an interview with local media.

Liang said international tourism will not recover to pre-Covid levels until next year, but domestic tourism in the United States and Europe might resume this year.

Chief executive Jane Sun Jie said Trip.com has hired around 1,400 staff members and expanded product offerings to prepare for the recovery. She added the company saw double-digit growth in flight tickets, hotels and scenic spot ticket bookings during the Qingming holiday earlier this month.

Trip.com raised HK$8.48 billion after pricing its Hong Kong secondary listing at HK$268 apiece, nearly 20 percent lower than the maximum offering price of HK$333. Its Nasdaq shares have risen 8.2 percent so far this year.

Backed by Baidu (9888), Trip.com's IPO was oversubscribed 16.8 times by retail investors. The institutional tranche was covered by more than 5 times.

The company plans to use the net proceeds from the deal to expand offerings, improve user experience, invest in technology as well as for general corporate purposes.

Meanwhile, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation is considering allowing mainland investors to subscribe to Hong Kong IPO, local media reported.



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