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Hongkong.com Considers US$1 Billion Listing on Home Turf

Is Hong Kong's stock market finally going to get a real Internet company?

Sources indicate that China.com Corp. (CCC), the second Asian Internet company to list on NASDAQ, is contemplating spinning off Hongkong.com on to one of the Hong Kong boards.

To bring Hongkong.com public, observers say that CCC is contemplating whether to conduct a back-door listing by acquiring a company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange or to launch a public offering on Hong Kong's Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) board which will be formed at the end of this year.

Every investment bank in town is apparently bidding to take Hongkong.com public and CCC, sources say, is hoping for a valuation for the Hong Kong Internet portal above US$1 billion. The Hong Kong site will be pushed as more than just a portal, it will be re-invented as an e-commerce play.

Hong Kong-listed companies have, in the past few months, only needed to mention plans for the Internet business to get soaring share prices.

Hong Kong companies like New World CyberBase, China Prosperity Holdings and China Online have yet to establish themselves as operating Internet companies. However, their stock prices have bounced up and down like yoyo's in the last few months reacting to the performance of Net stocks in the United States.

Even Richard Li's broadband play Pacific Century CyberWorks has yet to launch anything and it is the darling of local Internet investment groupies.