Thursday, November 24, 2011

Luxury jeweller Chow Tai Fook in mega Hong Kong listing

Its shops are a familiar presence on the streets of many Chinese cities, catering to the region's love of bling - be it spinach-coloured jade pendants, buttery gold wedding bracelets or dazzling diamond rings - but the name is unlikely to register far outside its home market.

The company's global anonymity looks set to disappear as the world's biggest jeweller prepares for what could be one of the world's biggest stock market flotations this year.

It is reportedly seeking to raise up to $3.5bn (£2.2bn; 2.5bn euro) via a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO), which will likely take place early next month.

It is hoping that investors worldwide will be enticed by the opportunity to tap the growing appetite for luxury goods among China's newly rich.

"It is a very big brand in Hong Kong and it has really built up its network in China over the past few years and is increasingly popular there," said Ben Kwong, chief operating officer at securities firm KGI Asia.

Jewellery sales have been growing at 40% a year in China since 2008 and are a key part of the luxury goods market in China, which is expected to be worth $100bn (£64bn; 74bn euro) by 2020, according to brokerage group CLSA.

Chinese tastes
Chow Tai Fook also caters specifically to Chinese tastes, both with its line of products and customer service.

There is less of the silver and white gold jewellery popular in Europe and the US, but plenty of the high-karat yellow gold used to make traditional Chinese wedding jewellery and vivid green jade pendants that many Chinese believe offer health benefits to the wearer.

Diamonds are also a big part of their business.

Last year, the company purchased the world's most expensive rough diamond for a record-breaking $35.3m (£23.2m; 26m euro).

A Chow Tai Fook store in Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district was busy one recent weekday afternoon.

Customers, mainly from mainland China, tried on diamond rings and gold bracelets.

Staff were attentive, offering jasmine tea in paper cups and presenting name cards to each prospective customer.

Diamond stud

Read more

1 comment: