,HONG KONG - Chinese internet search giant Baidu Inc is set to raise $3.08 billion by pricing its shares at HK$252 ($32.45) each in its Hong Kong secondary listing, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. New York-listed Baidu is selling 95 million shares as part of the transaction. The people could not be named as the information has not yet been made public. The deal showed the desire of Hong Kong's retail investors to buy into new stock market transactions shows no signs of slowing. The retail tranche of the deal, which was worth 5% of the total share sale, was about 100 times oversubscribed, according to sources, who added the institutional tranche was covered multiple times. At that rate, 12% of the deal will be sold to those retail investors under the Hong Kong's clawback rules. Baidu declined to comment on the pricing of the deal and did not immediately respond on the deal's subscription rates. Demand for margin loans to buy into Baidu's deal also remains strong. Online broker Futu recorded 90,000 subscriptions from investors to borrow HK$14.7 billion in margin loans, according to a spokesman. The price of HK$252 is a 2.7% discount to Baidu's closing price of $266.78 in New York on Tuesday when its American Depository Shares rose 0.47%. Baidu's New York shares are 23.37% higher so far this year and gained 4.6% while the Hong Kong bookbuild was underway. One Baidu ADS is equivalent to eight of its Hong Kong shares, the listing documents showed. The shares will start trading on the Hong Kong market on March 23. Baidu is the 15th Chinese company listed in the United States to carry out a so-called homecoming listing since Alibaba Group began the trend in November 2019. REUTERS
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