HKEX announces first SPAC listing in Hong Kong

Rick Steves

“The introduction of Hong Kong SPAC listings is an exciting development for HKEX”.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) has welcomed the first Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) listing in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong SPAC listing regime was put in place in January 2022 and the exchange operator received ten SPAC listing applications as of 17 January, reflecting strong market interest and demand for this new listing route.

HKEX’s SPAC listing framework focuses on welcoming applications from experienced and reputable SPAC Promoters seeking good quality De-SPAC Targets. The aim is to provide an attractive route to listing in Hong Kong whilst ensuring appropriate investor safeguards.

Exciting development at HKEX

Nicolas Aguzin, Chief Executive Officer at HKEX, said: “The introduction of Hong Kong SPAC listings is an exciting development for HKEX. It adds a new route to market for issuers, further diversifies our listing offering and helps us to play an even more important role in fueling the aspirations of the companies of tomorrow.”

“We have already seen significant demand for this new SPAC listing route and today we were delighted to welcome Aquila, the first SPAC on our market. We look forward to welcoming more sponsors and companies in the months ahead”.

New market access platform for securities market launched in September 2021

In late 2021, HKEX launched Orion Central Gateway – Securities Market (OCG-C), offering improved performance and reduced latency, compared with the vendor-supplied platform that it replaces.

The new market access platform for the Hong Kong securities market is fully integrated with HKEX’s securities trading system, the Orion Trading Platform – Securities Market (OTP-C).

The launch of OCG-C aims to modernize and enhance HKEX’s market infrastructure, delivering resiliency and ensuring its competitiveness.

The centralized access point enables Exchange Participants to connect their order management systems with HKEX’s securities trading platform.

Also in 2021, HKEX took a minority stake in China’s newest futures exchange to become the first offshore entity to own a slice of a mainland bourse.

The firm bought a 7% stake in Guangzhou Futures Exchange (GFE) for 210 million yuan ($32.5 million), which will be the first to be run as a company with some private shareholders, in line with global bourse operators.

The deal comes in the context of an experiment by Beijing with so-called mixed ownership reform, introducing private capital in previously state-dominated sectors.

China has stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen and four futures exchanges: Shanghai Futures Exchange, Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, Dalian Commodity Exchange and China Financial Futures Exchange, but all are fully owned and controlled by the state. Each of those four futures exchanges took a 15% stake in the new bourse, meaning it will still be majority state-owned.

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