China hotel chain Atour Lifestyle Holdings certainly picked a good day to list.
Buoyed by news of China plans to ease Covid restrictions that have hurt international arrivals, the Shanghai-headquartered hotel chain soared by 17% on its debut on the Nasdaq on Friday.
Atour, 14%-owned by China’s biggest online travel site Trip.com, had a network of 834 hotels in 151 cities in China as of June 30; it had another 343 hotels in the pipeline. The business is chaired by Wang Haijun, a former executive vice president at H World Group, also one of China’s biggest hotel chains.
Wang has a 30% stake in Atour worth $316 million on Friday; funds associated with Legend Capital of Beijing own nearly 11% of the company, whose shares closed at $12.88.
Trip.com’s Nasdaq-traded shares also had a good day, climbing 4.9% to $28.84 amid hopes for eased transportation and quarantine rules (see earlier post here), although no start date for the measures was announced.
H World Group, whose biggest shareholder is Chinese billionaire Ji Qi, also gained 12% in Nasdaq trading on Friday. GreenTree Hospitality, another Shanghai-based hotel chain, soared 12% in New York trading.
China’s “zero-Covid” rules have curbed economic growth and helped to pummel stock prices in the world’s No. 2 economy in the past year. The combined fortunes of the 100 members of the 2022 Forbes China Rich List unveiled on Thursday plunged 39% from a year ago to $907.1 billion, the biggest drop in wealth since Forbes began to publish rankings of the country’s richest more than two decades ago. (See details here.)
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