Xpeng maps smart route through listings minefield

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HONG KONG, Feb 18 (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s Xpeng (9868.HK), one of only three domestic companies with dual primary listings in New York and Hong Kong, has been included in the Hong Kong exchange’s Stock Connect scheme, allowing Shenzhen investors to buy and sell their shares. The Shanghai bourse is expected to sign off as well.

That makes the $34 billion automaker well-hedged to weather expulsion from U.S. exchanges, should American officials follow through on threats. Its American shares are fungible with those traded in Hong Kong already, and inclusion in the Connect scheme should buttress trading volumes. Last month Southbound turnover totalled HK$535 billion ($69 billion).

In market terms that puts Xpeng ahead of rivals Li Auto (2015.HK) and Nio (NIO.N). Li Auto also has a dual primary listing, but hasn’t managed to get included in Connect. Nio has yet to execute a second listing. There are other ways for the companies to pad the pain of eviction from New York, but Xpeng has taken the easiest route. (By Katrina Hamlin)

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(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own.)

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