SoftBank-Backed Online Property Site KE Soars in Debut

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KE Holdings Inc., a Chinese online property platform backed by SoftBank Group Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., rose 87% in its U.S. trading debut after raising $2.1 billion in an initial public offering.

The company, also known as Beike Zhaofang, closed Thursday at $37.44 a share, giving the company a market value of about $42 billion. KE sold 106 million American depositary shares on Wednesday for $20, exceeding its target range of $17 to $19 apiece.

The offering is the largest by a Chinese company in the U.S. since iQiyi Inc. raised $2.4 billion in March 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have intensified in recent days after President Donald Trump moved to ban the Chinese-owned social media apps WeChat and TikTok from operating in the U.S.

Despite the worsening geopolitical friction, U.S.-listed Chinese stocks have held up. The S&P/BNY Mellon China ADR Index, which tracks U.S.-listed Chinese companies, is up 18% this year, outpacing the S&P 500 Index’s 4.4% gain from the same period.

KE, the Chinese equivalent of Zillow Group Inc., marks a success for SoftBank, which invested $1.3 billion at a $10 billion valuation. The company was last valued at about $14 billion in 2019, according to CB Insights data.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, China Renaissance and JPMorgan Chase & Co. led KE’s offering. The shares are trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BEKE.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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