Ctrip.com International is on the hunt for merger and acquisition opportunities in Hong Kong and the mainland after raising US$43.7 million from its Nasdaq listing last week. The Shanghai-based travel portal said it would form joint ventures or acquire travel consolidators and ticketing companies in the next six to 12 months, using its US$52 million cash on hand. 'First, we want companies with a product offering,' said Neil Shen Nanpeng, president, co-founder and chief financial officer of Ctrip. 'Second, they have to have a customer base.' Ctrip went public in New York last Tuesday, selling 2.7 million American depositary receipts to United States and global investors. Its stock shot up 88.55 per cent on its debut, the best first-day gain in New York in three years. Travelsky dominates the mainland market but offers just airline ticketing services. Ctrip derives about 85.8 per cent of its revenue from hotel reservations, 10.5 per cent from air ticketing and 1.6 per cent from packaged tours. 'The timing is very right [for acquisitions],' Mr Shen said. 'China's travel industry is very fast-growing.' The company's Nasdaq debut came the same day the mainland's No 1 internet portal, Sina.com, announced it was buying Shanghai-based hotel booking company Fortune Trip. But Mr Shen said Sina would not threaten its market position. 'Fortune Tip is very small. Its transaction volume is just 5 per cent of Ctrip's total transactions.' According to research house Straszheim Global Advisors, China's travel industry will grow 12 to 15 per cent next year should the mainland economy grow by at least 8 per cent. Ctrip is also hoping to benefit from the influx of individual mainland travellers to Hong Kong and the closer economic partnership arrangement.