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JD Logistics soars in Hong Kong debut, valuing it at $34 billion

imageStock Markets1 hour ago (May 28, 2021 02:00AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A staff member wearing a face mask works at JD.com’s automated logistics center during a government organized tour on China’s Singles Day shopping festival in Beijing, China November 11, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

By Scott Murdoch and Sophie Yu

HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) -JD Logistics Inc surged on debut, giving the Chinese delivery and warehousing firm a $34 billion stock market value and providing a strong start on Friday for Hong Kong’s second-largest listing this year.

Shares of the company, spun out from Chinese e-commerce firm JD (NASDAQ:JD).com, rose as much as 18.3% compared to the initial public offering (IPO) price. By early afternoon, they were up 9%, against the broader market’s 0.6% gain.

JD Logistics’ stock gains come after it priced its $3.2 billion IPO closer to the lower end of an indicated range.

Its listing is being watched closely as an indicator of appetite for big IPOs in Hong Kong and of companies closely connected to China’s internet economy, which is facing antitrust scrutiny.

Speaking at a briefing in Beijing on Friday to mark the listing, JD Logistics CEO Yu Rui said the scrutiny by regulators would bring it more opportunity as it was differentiating itself by spending on technology.

“We are going to use the funds raised from the IPO to further improve our networks, including in the lower-tier and suburban areas in China, and the infrastructure of the overseas markets,” Yu said.

JD Logistics’ successful IPO and stock listing comes after the planned IPO of financial technology firm JD Digits, an affiliate of JD.com, was terminated last month.

The IPO is the second largest in Hong Kong in 2021 and only the third to raise more than $1 billion in the city this year.

The other two were Kuaishou Technology, which leapt 161% on debut in January, and Linklogis Inc, which gained 9.9% in April on opening day.

Shares of JD Logistics’ close rival S.F. Holding Co Ltd have fallen about 20% this year after vaulting 137% last year. It has a market value of about $50 billion.

JD Logistics, which gets about half of its revenue from JD.com, posted a two-thirds jump in first-quarter 2021 revenue to 22.4 billion yuan ($3.52 billion).

But its gross profit slumped 73% due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and costs of adding 60,000 workers to its headcount and it saw a first-quarter operating loss of 1.47 billion yuan.

The company’s securities filings showed the retail portion of the IPO was oversubscribed 715 times and the institutional investor part was oversubscribed 10.18 times.

Cornerstone investors, who bought into the deal before it was opened to the public and included high profile investors such as SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund, Temasek Holdings and BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), took nearly half of the shares in the IPO.

($1 = 6.3682 Chinese yuan renminbi)

JD Logistics soars in Hong Kong debut, valuing it at $34 billion

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