Feb 16, 2012
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London jeweller eyes $1.0 bln Hong Kong offering

Feb 16, 2012

Feb 16 - High-end London-based jeweller Graff Diamonds is seeking to raise up to $1.0 billion in a Hong Kong share sale, a report said Thursday.

Photo: Graff Diamonds

The firm filed a listing application to the Hong Kong stock exchange for an initial public offering (IPO) planned for April, Dow Jones Newswires quoted unnamed sources familiar with the matter as saying.

A Hong Kong stock exchange spokesman declined to confirm the report, saying he could not comment on individual listing applications.

Graff Diamonds' presence in Asia includes boutiques in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo and Taipei. It is planning to open three flagship stores in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, Macau and Dubai this year, according to its website.

The jeweller will join other luxury brands using Hong Kong as a gateway to the burgeoning Chinese market, after the listings of firms such as Prada of Italy, US handbag maker Coach and US luggage maker Samsonite.

Other brand names reportedly looking at Hong Kong listing options include Aston Martin, Burberry and Ducati.

The slew of luxury firms seeking to list in Hong Kong are a sign of Asia's growing appetite for designer goods, especially among cash-rich Chinese mainlanders.

China is the world's fastest-growing market for luxury goods, and it is forecast to be the world's top buyer of products such as cosmetics, handbags, watches, shoes and clothes by 2015, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co., the world's biggest jewellery chain controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Cheng Yu-tung, raised $2.0 billion in an IPO in December last year.

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