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Baidu to split shares ahead of rumored Hong Kong listing

Written by Song Jingli Published on 

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Shares have more than doubled in the past 6 months.

Chinese search giant Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) on Friday disclosed that it plans a one-to-eighty split of its shares, without further explaining the reasons for the move. The company will submit the proposal to its shareholders for a vote at an extraordinary general meeting to be held on March 1.

Baidu further said that its board of directors already approved a change in the ratio between its ADS and Class A ordinary shares from 8:1 to 10:1, which it said won’t alter the percentage interest in the company for ADS holders and have no impact on the trading price on Nasdaq.

The share split plan comes after Baidu confidentially filed for a secondary listing in Hong Kong, according to a report by online news portal news.qq.com on Friday, which is owned by Tencent.

Stock splits are typically aimed at making share prices look more attractive to retail investors, a tool that has somewhat lost its luster recently since brokers have started to offer fractional ownership of shares. Baidu’s last split dates back to May 2010, when it slashed its stock price by splitting 1:10, prompting a rally of more than 8%.

Baidu closed at USD 252.75 on Friday, more than doubling its price from 6 months ago.

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