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By
AFP
Published
May 7, 2012
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Jeweller Graff aims for June listing in Hong Kong

By
AFP
Published
May 7, 2012


Photo: Graff Diamonds
High-end London-based jeweller Graff Diamonds is planning to list in Hong Kong on June 7, a report said Monday, as it seeks to raise up to $1.0 billion in one of the biggest IPOs this year.

The firm plans to start taking orders from investors in a roadshow between May 21 and 31 and is set to price the initial public offering at the end of the event, according to a term sheet seen by Dow Jones Newswires.

The IPO is set to be one of this year's blockbuster share sales after China's second largest brokerage Haitong Securities last month raised $1.68 billion from its Hong Kong IPO, the world's biggest so far this year.

The jeweller's listing in Hong Kong will enable the company to raise its profile in Asia and tap the fast-growing luxury goods market on mainland China.

China is forecast to be the world's top buyer of products such as cosmetics, handbags, watches, shoes and clothes by 2015, PriceWaterhouseCoopers has said.

Graff Diamonds' presence in Asia includes boutiques in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo and Taipei. It is planning to open three flagship stores in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, Macau and Dubai this year, according to its website.

The firm's present sales are split evenly between Asia and Europe.

The jeweller will join other luxury brands using Hong Kong as a gateway to the burgeoning Chinese market, after the listings of firms such as Prada of Italy, US handbag maker Coach and US luggage maker Samsonite.

The slew of luxury firms seeking to list in Hong Kong are a sign of Asia's growing appetite for designer goods, especially among cash-rich Chinese, which has helped the financial hub to retain its crown as the world's largest IPO market.

Hong Kong raised a total of $260 billion from new listings last year but the IPO market has been quiet so far this year.

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