Baidu keen on Shanghai international board listing: paper

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 28, 2011 10:34 PM

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Baidu Inc, China's top search engine, wants to be one of the first companies to list on Shanghai's international board when it is launched, a business daily quoted the firm's chief financial officer as saying.

Li Xinzhe also told the China Securities Journal Baidu's share price had been affected by worries over the accounting practices of overseas-listed Chinese firms, but that its fundamentals were solid with good long-term growth prospects.

"We have repeatedly expressed that we will be pleased to return to the A-share market when we communicate with the government," Li was quoted as saying in the interview.

"And we also wish that we can be in the first batch (of listings on the international board), but details have to depend on the rules of the international board," she added.

China has yet to announce details of the board, which will allow foreign firms to sell yuan-denominated shares for the first time, including its launch date.

Domestic media have reported the securities regulator is planning to allow about 10 foreign companies in the first batch of listings.

Multinationals such as HSBC, Unilever and Standard Chartered Plc have said they want to list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange when rules allow.

Many foreign-incorporated Chinese companies, known in China as red-chips, also want to return to the mainland stock market via the international board.

Baidu, which is focusing more on e-commerce and online video, dominates China's search engine market after Google Inc pulled out following a high-profile fallout with Beijing over censorship last year.

On Friday, Baidu announced it would buy the country's leading travel website Qunar to strengthen its foothold in the competitive Internet sector.

(Reporting by Yixin Chen and Kazunori Takada; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)