China.com weighs Nasdaq potential

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 August, 2005, 12:00am
 

GEM-listed portal operator considers attraction of the US bourse against shift to main board


China.com, listed on the Growth Enterprise Market in Hong Kong since 2000, is considering applying for a listing on the Nasdaq market in the United States in a bid to broaden its investor base, according to chief executive Rudy Chan.


'It would be a better choice for us to list on Nasdaq, as most of our peer companies are listed there,' Mr Chan said in an interview.


China.com, formerly known as Hongkong.com Corp, listed on the GEM in 2000 raising $1.28 billion but has seen its stock lose 77 per cent of its value.


The company owns and operates the internet portal China.com, a mobile value-added service and an online game provider in China. Its Nasdaq-listed parent, CDC Corporation, holds an 81.3 per cent stake in the firm.


'If the company's shares trade on Nasdaq, then analysts in the United States will track our share performance and make recommendations to their clients, potentially boosting our trading volume,' said Mr Chan.


Last year, the firm announced an intention to switch its listing to the main board due to the dearth of investor interest.


'In Hong Kong, it is difficult for a company to transfer its listing status from the GEM board to the main board,' said Mr Chan.


Asked about the role of the GEM, Mr Chan said it was suitable as a fund-raising channel for small firms but the low level of liquidity meant it was unable to attract institutional investors.


'We support the GEM board but it is a new market and we faced many problems over the past few years,' he said.


'We will pick the easiest option to enhance our shareholder value and listing on Nadasq should be the better way.' He gave no timeframe for a decision on the main board or the Nasdaq.


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