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Li Auto shares drop 2.1% at Hong Kong debut

Li Auto

The weaker debut came after a 1.1% gain in New York-listed Li Auto shares on Wednesday

Shares in Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto dropped 2.1% below their offer price of HK$118 (US$15.17) in the company’s trading debut at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) on Thursday.

The company raised $1.52 billion by pricing its stock at HK$118 (US$15.17) each in its dual primary listing in the city. Li Auto is also listed in New York.

If a company is listed in two locations, the shares on each stock exchange tend to closely follow each other.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was flat in early trade. The weaker debut came after a 1.1% gain in New York-listed Li Auto shares on Wednesday.

At HK$118 (US$15.17) each, the price represented a 3.2% discount to the level where the New York stock was trading before the Hong Kong deal was launched on Aug. 3.

Li Auto’s president Shen Yanan told reporters that it is internally discussing the possibility of issuing A-shares in mainland China.

It is developing battery electric vehicles in addition to its current extended range electric vehicle model, which uses a different powertrain, to expand its customer base, Shen said. The first battery electric model is expected to be sold in 2023, Shen said.

Li Auto plans to set up a new factory in Beijing to expand manufacturing capacity and to have more showrooms in shopping malls across Chinese cities to expand sales channels, Shen said.

Li Auto currently has one model on the market, an SUV it calls Li One. Its rivals such as Nio and Xpeng both have more cars available to consumers.

The electric vehicle maker had aimed to raise more funds at its Hong Kong debut but the stock declined 4% in the US last Thursday before the price was finalised, which reduced the amount investors were willing to pay.

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