In recent years, the concept of duty-free has drawn much attention. As the only retail operator with four duty-free licenses covering all duty-free sales channels, China Tourism Group Duty Free Corporation Limited (CTG DUTY-FREE, HKG: 1880) is undoubtedly a duty-free industry pioneer.
On 25 August 2022, China Tourism Group Duty Free Corporation Limited was officially listed and traded on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The issue price was HK$158 per share, and the total amount of funds raised was about HK$16.236 billion. It is reported that CTG DUTY-FREE is the largest IPO in Hong Kong this year, and it has officially become an “A+H” dual-listed company.
On the morning of August 26, the listing ceremony of CTG DUTY-FREE was successfully held at the HKEX. The Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (LOCPG), Mr. Yin Zonghua; the Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong SAR Government, Mr. Paul Chan; the CEO of the HKEX, Mr. Nicolas Aguzin; and other relevant representatives attended the listing ceremony, marking a new step for CTG DUTY-FREE in the international capital market.
This ceremony was managed by Mr. Peng Hui, Chairman of the Board of CTG DUTY-FREE, together with four representatives: a consumer representative, an investor representative, a supplier representative and a staff representative. Meanwhile, Mr. Wang Haimin, General Manager of China Tourism Group, was also present to witness this historic moment.
It is noteworthy that the company invited a consumer representative, a staff representative, a well-known brand supplier representative and a shareholder representative, which reflects the market-oriented and international characteristics of CTG DUTY-FREE and simultaneously shows the company’s customer-focused, trusted, ethical business operating and excellent service business philosophy. The company aims to build a solid supply chain and create a better future for consumers, employees, partners, and shareholders.
A quality stock on the HKEX that attracts high market attention
Under the pandemic for over two years, international duty-free operators have been under pressure to varying degrees. However, CTG DUTY-FREE’s performance has risen against the trend and has ranked first in the world for duty-free for two consecutive years from 2020 to 2021. As of the end of 2021, CTG DUTY-FREE’s market share in the global travel retail industry has reached 24.6%, and its share in China’s duty-free market is as high as 86.0%.
CTG DUTY-FREE’s listing on the HKEX has become the most “outstanding stock” among the newly listed stocks. Combining with the company’s fundamentals and development potential, the long-term investment value is significant, and the share of CTG DUTY-FREE is undoubtedly a high-quality and scarce resource for investors in the Hong Kong stock market.
Industry insiders consider that the action of CTG DUTY-FREE’s listing on the HKEX could assist the company in employing the international capital platform to further accelerate the expansion of both domestic and international channels. It will also improve the efficiency of the supply chain and promote the extension of the industrial chain, thereby consolidating its leading position in the global travel retail market.
As the “fundraising king” of Hong Kong stocks this year, it is worth mentioning that there were nine cornerstone investors engaged in the listing of CTG DUTY-FREE, a quite strong lineup including many sovereign funds, large domestic and foreign long-term funds, large central enterprises and upstream and downstream leaders in the industry chain. In addition, in the international placing, CTG DUTY-FREE’s book building was fully covered within an hour, while the HK public offering was over-subscribed 1.06 times, which shows Hong Kong stock investors’ recognition and confidence in CTG DUTY-FREE’s long-term development.
A duty-free pioneer lands on the HKEX, setting off a new wave of development
It is reported that the funds raised this time will be used to reinforce domestic channels, expand overseas channels, improve supply chain efficiency, upgrade information technology systems and marketing, and improve the customer loyalty program. It is evident that CTG DUTY-FREE has a clear plan for its future development, and this listing on the HKEX powerfully reveals its determination for a new round of expansion.
Regarding the possible positive impact of listing on the HKEX, CTG DUTY-FREE once said that internationalization has always been one of the critical long-term strategic goals in the company’s development process. Hong Kong has an open and mature capital market that international investors have widely recognized for many years. On the one hand, the listing on HKEX is conducive to the establishment of both domestic and overseas platforms for the company, the further development of the company through the support of domestic and foreign capital, as well as the continuous promotion of the company’s internationalization and overseas business expansion. On the other hand, it is beneficial for the company to build up its capital barrier so that it is expected to use more funds to construct Haikou International Duty-free Complex, Site II, Phase I of Sanya International Duty-free Complex, downtown duty-free stores, and other projects.
Currently, under the environment of consumption upgrade, due to the impact of the pandemic and the narrowing of the price gap between domestic and international luxury goods, the trend of overseas consumption returning is apparent. On the other hand, under the 14th Five-Year Plan to build a new pattern of the domestic and international dual cycle to promote each other’s development and the favorable policy of Hainan Free Trade Port development, China’s duty-free market continues to recover and expand significantly. This is a unique advantage for CTG DUTY-FREE, whose core business is in China. According to Frost Sullivan, from 2019 to 2021, CTG DUTY-FREE alone serves more than 2.2 billion passengers at airports where it has opened stores.
In addition to the mainland market, CTG DUTY-FREE has been continuously expanding its overseas business around consumer groups and demand changes. With the development of China’s economy, Chinese tourists have become the main customer group of the global duty-free or travel retail industry. CTG DUTY-FREE has opened and operated nine duty-free shops, which are centered around the major overseas tourist destinations for Chinese tourists, including seven in Hong Kong, Macau, and Cambodia and two cruise duty-free shops, all of which have achieved good results.
From the prospectus disclosed by CTG DUTY-FREE, it can be found that the deployment of important duty-free shops at customs, the development of cruise duty-free projects at major overseas ports, and the construction of a representative duty-free complex in Hainan, or even the innovative development of online business, all of them lead CTG DUTY-FREE’s path to be a pioneer. With operation permits for all types of duty-free stores, CTG DUTY-FREE constantly upgrades and adjusts its business policy according to the changes in the consumption environment and the iteration of public consumption habits. It is foreseeable that after the HKEX Listing, the company will have more resources at home and abroad to provide services for tourists worldwide.
Looking forward, it is believed that under the great potential of the global travel retail market and with the assistance from both domestic and foreign capital, CTG DUTY-FREE, which has the most comprehensive duty-free retail channels and the largest market share in China, will strengthen its business scope and reinforce its leading position in the global travel retail market.