September 26, 2023

DealBook: Glencore I.P.O. Approved in Hong Kong; Prada Applies

Despite the recent turbulence in financial markets, plans for two high-profile stock market listings are moving forward in Hong Kong.

Glencore International, a commodities trader based in Switzerland, received approval from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday for an initial public offering, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. Glencore is planning to raise funds in a dual listing in London and Hong Kong, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the plans.

Separately, plans for a stock market listing in Hong Kong by Prada, the Italian fashion house, took a step forward this week with the submission of a listing application to the city’s stock exchange. The move puts Prada on track for a market debut around the middle of this year.

Prada had said in January that it intended to carry out an initial public offering in Hong Kong, and the formal application this week signaled that it was confident that the market environment was stable enough — despite the turmoil that has erupted in the Middle East since then and the lingering nuclear crisis in Japan — to press ahead with its plans.

A person with direct knowledge of the matter said Friday that Prada’s application had been submitted on Wednesday, setting in motion a process that could lead to a price range for the shares being determined in June, and a trading start in July. The person declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

The listing could raise as much as $2 billion, some analysts believe. Prada, which is based in Milan but derives a large part of its sales from Asia, is one of a growing number of non-Asian companies that are choosing to list on Asian stock exchanges.

Half a dozen such I.P.O.’s took place in Hong Kong — the main beneficiary of this trend — last year. Bankers in the city say that as many as a dozen could follow this year, including mining companies from Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

Fitness First, a British gym operator owned by the private equity firm BC Partners, is seeking a market debut in Singapore. Samsonite, maker of upscale suitcases and bags, is considering a listing in Asia, most likely in Hong Kong.

Glencore has not made any formal announcements on its I.P.O. plans but people with knowledge of the matter have said the dual listing could raise as much as $10 billion.

Asian stock exchanges now attract the majority of global I.P.O.’s. Data published by Thomson Reuters on Friday showed that exchanges in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, accounted for 54 percent of global I.P.O. proceeds during the first quarter of this year.

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