Wang Shi, the founder of one of China’s biggest property developers China Vanke, filed an application to list his special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in Hong Kong, riding on a boom in the city’s newly available form of fundraising. The Cayman-incorporated Destone Acquisition Corp, which is 65 per cent controlled by Wang through a wholly-owned unit, with the rest owned by Asia Investment Fund Management, will be engaged in mergers and acquisitions mainly in the green-energy and consumer industries, according to the firm’s prospectus published on the website of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. The document shed light on the various business ventures that Wang, 71, has been planning after retiring as chairman in 2017. He founded China Vanke in 1984 and transformed the little-known exhibition company into one of the country’s most valuable developers under his watch. Olympian, former central banker among the star promoters of Hong Kong SPACs Wang’s listing plan comes as interest has been growing in SPACs in Hong Kong, where the former chief executive of the city’s Monetary Authority Norman Chan Tak-lam is among several public figures who have founded these so-called blank-cheque companies. At least 10 SPACs have applied to go public in Hong Kong after the city’s exchange operator started to permit these listings in January. SPACs, which have no existing business, are essentially shell companies created with the purpose of boosting their financial war chests by offering shares to investors and using the proceeds to buy assets within a limited period of time. In Hong Kong, only professional investors are allowed to buy and deal in shares issued by SPACs, and listings need to raise at least HK$1 billion (US$128 million) to qualify for the city’s main board, the highest requirement among all major global exchanges. Destone Acquisition plans to explore a range of business opportunities in areas such as urban technology, clean energy, digital services and entertainment, according to its prospectus. The company has yet to begin any business and had no revenue as of December, it said, with net liabilities reaching HK$3.2 million by the end of last year. “The global efforts toward a low-emission and sustainable development path are set to bring about not only transitions and transformations in almost every aspect of the economy, but also vast investment opportunities to fund them in both the short and long terms,” the company said. “Such policy and market forces will accelerate the commercialisation of technologies, products and services in our targeted sectors.” SPACs offer lifeline for M&A bankers in Hong Kong after first-quarter slump Wang is currently the chairman of the Shenzhen Non-Governmental Organisation Federation, which is the official liaison between the government and social service agencies in the southern Chinese technology hub bordering Hong Kong, home to the headquarters of Tencent Holdings and Huawei Technologies Co. Shares of Vanke, which started trading on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 1991, have since been delivering an annualised return of 16 per cent, capitalising the company at 242 billion yuan (US$28 billion), according to Bloomberg data.