XPeng's perfect timing

City talk | Siu Sai-wo 30 Jul 2021

US-listed shares with a China connection have recently taken a real beating as the mainland unleashed a policy shake-up.

But electric carmaker XPeng Motors managed to complete its Hong Kong listing in the nick of time before the storm hit.

The success of the exercise has a lot to do with behind-the-scene maneuvers by company founder He Xiaopeng.

Listing in Hong Kong has not only enabled the company to raise a substantial amount of new capital, but also cushion the company from the threat of policy volatility.

After Hong Kong, He is keenly looking for the opportunity to list in the mainland A-shares market in his ongoing quest to fundraise for the company.

Apart from mega player BYD, another electric vehicle manufacturer in the mainland, NIO Inc, has been listed in the US for a much longer time. But XPeng took the fast lane and listed in Hong Kong first.

Having been listed in the US for less than a year, XPeng couldn't do a homecoming secondary listing here and had to go the dual-primary route, which has a higher threshold.

Luck alone cannot explain the fact that the exercise was done before the storm; the company's orchestration must have also played a part.

Electric vehicle manufacturing in the mainland is developing rapidly as the world's biggest emerging market with white-hot competition.

To stay competitive in such an operating environment, the supply of capital is as important as the ability to adapt to various policy changes.

As a latecomer, XPeng's risk-tolerance isn't as high as long-listed companies. Yet, it was able to pull off successive capital raising projects within a tight timeframe before US-listed Chinese stocks crashed.

By taking advantage of such a narrow window, XPeng's management might very well have taken the last train for some time to come.

Siu Sai-wo is publisher of Sing Tao Daily

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