HONG KONG Coca-Cola Co (KO.N), the world's largest soft-drink company, said on Wednesday it may explore a possible listing in Shanghai, joining other global firms in testing the waters for a China listing, along with its increasing presence there.
Coke has said it will commit $2 billion in investment into China and last October opened three new plants in Inner Mongolia.
"We are interested in exploring the opportunity of listing our stock on the Shanghai Stock Exchange," Geoff Walsh, public affairs and communications director for Asia Pacific of Coca-Cola, said in an email reply to Reuters.
"Obviously, we need to better understand the regulatory framework and listing requirements," Walsh said. "We continue to have positive discussions with Chinese government officials as we look at this opportunity."
Walsh's comments follow a report in the Hong Kong Economic Journal, saying Coca-Cola was studying a possible listing on the proposed international board on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
HSBC (HSBA.L), Unilever (ULVR.L) and Standard Chartered Plc (STAN.L) have said they want to list on the international board, which was originally slated to be launched in 2010.
The New York Stock Exchange is working with China to launch the country's international board that will allow foreign firms to list on the mainland, in a move seen as a crucial step in developing its capital markets.
(Reporting by Xavier Ng and Donny Kwok; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Ken Wills)