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Chinese EV maker Nio completes fast-path Hong Kong stock debut without raising new funds

Nio’s et5 electric sedan is set to begin deliveries in Sept. 2022.

Shares of Chinese electric-vehicle maker Nio began trading on Hong Kong’s exchange on Thursday, after the company chose a shortcut path to listing that didn’t involve raising new funds.

That path, referred to as a listing “by way of introduction,” allowed Nio’s shares to begin trading less than two weeks after it announced its plan to list in Hong Kong. The stock closed at HK$158.90 in its first day of trading, compared to a close of $20.17 ($HK157.72) for its New York-listed American depositary shares on Wednesday.

Nio’s U.S.-listed shares rallied to close up about 12.2% on Wednesday, but were still down about 36.3% this year through Wednesday’s close.

Nio joins a growing list of U.S.-traded Chinese companies that have chosen to list on Hong Kong’s exchange in recent months, seen as a way to hedge against the risk of being delisted from U.S. exchanges amid growing U.S.-China tensions. Two of Nio’s U.S.-traded domestic rivals, Xpeng and Li Auto, both listed on the Hong Kong exchange last year.

Chinese ride-hailing company DiDi Global, under pressure from its home government, announced plans to delist from the New York Stock Exchange in December.

Both Xpeng and Li Auto chose more traditional paths to their Hong Kong listings, raising $2.1 billion and $1.5 billion respectively. But Nio, which ended the third quarter of 2021 with $7.3 billion in cash on hand and raised an additional $1.7 billion in an at-the-market offering in New York in November, didn’t feel the need to raise further cash with its Hong Kong trading debut.

Nio will report its fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 earnings after the U.S. markets close March 24.

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